Robert Parker – 100
Even inkier in color than the 2010, the 2009 Ermitage le Meal is as good as Hermitage gets. Locked and loaded with phenomenal notes of jammy black raspberries, creme de cassis, crushed violets, smoked earth and spice, it’s thick and unctuous on the palate, with incredible density, a huge mid-palate and a layered, multi-dimensional, seamless, elegant texture that just keeps you coming back and begging for another sip. More hedonistic and voluptuous than the 2010, it should still evolve for just as long, yet have even a broader drink window.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2049
JancisRobinson.com – 18.5
You might think it sacrilege to broach this so young but it was extremely welcoming even at this young age. Dark ruby, dusty and dry and savoury but with great fruit concentration and rigour. Long and jewelly with so much noble fruit you are quite confident it has a great future. Rich and peppery. Serious stuff with great tannin handling. Lots of tannins here but not aggressively so. Very well made with a reverberant finish.
Anticipated maturity: 2014-2040
Vinous – 94
Vivid purple. Highly perfumed aromas of boysenberry and blueberry liqueur, with spice and potpourri notes adding complexity. Powerful but lively black and blue fruit flavors show excellent clarity and stain the palate. This wine has gained in elegance over the past year. The vibrant finish clings with outstanding tenacity.