Of course, Michel Chapoutier produces some very limited spectacular dessert wines. The 2005 Ermitage Vin de Paille has a dark amber color, much more noticeable acidity than the 2004, but tastes as unctuous, yet with considerable precision. The truffle notes are not nearly as intense, but the wine does exhibit plenty of honeysuckle, caramel, and marmalade notes in a full-bodied, sweet style. This wine cuvee has between 100 and 159 grams of residual sugar, and the finished alcohol is approximately 15%.
The name Chapoutier has been present in the Rhône Valley since 1808. In 1879, the distant ancestor Polydor Chapoutier was the first to begin to buy vines, thus moving from the status of wine-grower of an estate to that of a viticulturist, a wine producer and a businessman. Seven generations later, we find Michel, forty something, with a real passion for the expression of soils, at the head of this exceptional vineyard. This young, determined man has succeeded in combining the past with daring and creativity. Michel took the domaine entirely biodynamic and eschews the use of cultured yeasts. His favoured approach is to avoid the use of press wine.
Hermitage is a region that produces both red and white wines. Its famous red is made from 100% Syrah while the white is produced from Marsanne and/or Roussanne. A sweeter and very rare white wine is also produced from grapes that have been dried on straw before being pressed. A slighter warmer micro-climate enables Hermitage's red wines to have more ripeness and structure than Côte Rôtie which adds additional power and longevity. As a result, they are usually the most ‘masculine' styled reds in all of the northern Rhône.