Friday, October 6, 2023

The Rhone’s World-Class Hermitage Wines

          The Hermitage hill as viewed from the hotel where Wine-Knows will be staying in 2024

This is the first in a three-part series on wines from the Northern Rhone.  Hermitage wines have a cult-like following by serious oenophiles.   Located just south of the city of Lyon, the small Hermitage appellation is situation on a perfectly positioned steep granite hill.  Drenched in full afternoon sunlight, this vine-draped slope overlooks the majestic Rhone River which cools during the valley's sizzling summers and provides warmth during its frosty winters.  The Hermitage hill is named after a tiny chapel which adorns its crest.  

                      The birds-eye view Hermitage chapel provides a perfect view for wine lovers 

The Hermitage appellation is known for its red wines which are made from the Syrah grape.   For Syrah devotees, Hermitage is the Holy Grail.   This is not surprising considering the Syrah grape comes from the Rhone region.  When young, these wines are rich and concentrated with bold tannins.  Their youthful profile is one of blackberry, dark cherry, spice and mineral.   Older Hermitage wines are elegant and complex with an earthy spectrum of leather, cocoa and coffee.  Because of their tannins, these opulent Hermitage can age for decades.

                         "La Chapelle" vineyard is one of the most coveted on the Hermitage hill

Hermitage is one of the few appellations that allows an addition of up to 15% of white grapes into its red wine.   Luscious Marsanne and Roussanne that are used to complete these perfect reds, adding interesting floral, stone fruit and citrus nuances.   Both of these white grapes are also used to produce the area’s rare white wine.   These hedonistic whites, known for their dense texture and a long finish, are highly coveted.


Hermitage’s red wines are the benchmark by which all other Syrah wines are measured.    For an up-close-and-personal experience with Hermitage wines, why not consider coming with Wine-Knows on its September harvest next year, 2024?  We have 3-4 openings left at this time.

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