2012 Chapoutier Ermitage le Meal Blanc

Marsanne - 750ML
Reg: $299.94
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WA 97 DC 96 WS 96 VN 94
WA 97

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, September 2015

Slightly more reserved now than on release, the 2012 Ermitage le Meal Blanc offers tons of honeyed minerality, caramelized peach, toasted bread and liquid rock-like aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, rich, vibrant and with...
DC 96

Decanter, November 2023

An unashamedly rich and opulent wine, surging with plush ripe stone fruit, buttery and thick. Its demeanour is golden and sunny, with bright flecks of fresh mango and yellow plum. Hugely structured, not through acidity...
WS 96

Wine Spectator, February 2015

This rolls along, featuring a honeyed edge and straw, heather and creamed apple notes, all gilded with pineapple, papaya and Cavaillon melon accents. Long and luxurious, with an echo of dried chamomile lending just the...
VN 94

Vinous, February 2015

Light gold. Poached pear, peach pit, honey and blond tobacco on the intensely perfumed, mineral-driven nose. Pliant, deeply concentrated pit fruit and melon flavors are complemented by succulent herbs and orange pith...


Color & Type White
Varietal Marsanne
Country France
Region Rhone
Sub-region Northern Rhone
Appellation Hermitage
Vintage 2012
Size 750ML
Percent alcohol 14%
Closure Cork

Chapoutier is one of the oldest wine producers in the Rhone Valley with a history dating back to 1808. A distant ancestor, Polydor Chapoutier, was the first to buy vines here, shifting from being a simple grape grower to making and trading his own wine. For the last two hundred years, the estate has been producing some of the greatest wines in the Rhone Valley. Today, the range also includes wines from some Roussillon appellations as well as projects in Portugal and Australia.

Under Michel Chapoutier’s leadership, quality improved and Chapoutier gained international recognition. The massive negociant and winery produces single-vineyard expressions and classic wines from a range of appellations in the north and south of the valley.

They have adopted biodynamic farming techniques and have included Braille markings on their labels since 1996. This was done from a desire to reach out to and include lovers of good wines with sight-impairments, and as a tribute to Maurice Monier of La Sizeranne, a member of the family that previously owned the vines of the same name and who invented the first abbreviated version of Braille.

Chapoutier’s much lauded le Meal Blanc is made from Marsanne. The vines, which are more than 50 years old, give low production and high quality, sourced from the Meal hillside, an old fluvioglacial alluvial deposit soil with shingles which contribute to soil warming. The fruit is hand-harvested generally at very good maturity.

The wine has a brilliant, golden yellow color. It is intense on the nose, very mineral, with celery overtones and a slight and well-integrated hint of wood. There is ample attack on the palate, a well-rounded, fine exotic freshness, and roasted almond flavor. Depending on the vintage, the wine can be kept from 30 to 60 years or from 50 to 75 years.

The 2012 Chapoutier Ermitage le Meal Blanc is a stunning white wine from the Rhone region in France. Made from the Marsanne grape variety, this wine showcases the incredible potential of this lesser-known varietal.

In the glass, the wine has a beautiful light gold color that sparkles under the light. The nose is intensely perfumed, with aromas of poached pear, peach pit, honey, and blond tobacco. There is also a distinct mineral-driven quality to the nose that is reminiscent of Chablis, adding a unique and intriguing element to the wine.

On the palate, this wine truly shines. It is deeply concentrated, with flavors of ripe pit fruits and melon. These flavors are complemented by succulent herbs and a hint of orange pith. The stony element adds a wonderful back-end cut that balances the richness of the fruit flavors. The wine has a suave and weighty texture, yet also displays great vivacity and freshness. The finish is long and lingering, with excellent clarity and a lingering note of candied orange.

This wine has received high praise from critics, further affirming its exceptional quality. Vinous awarded it a score of 94, describing it as a wine that "suavely melds weight and vivacity." Wine Spectator gave it an impressive score of 96, noting its "long and luxurious" character. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate awarded it a score of 97, calling it a "sensational white" that will age gracefully for several decades.

The 2012 Chapoutier Ermitage le Meal Blanc is a truly remarkable wine that showcases the elegance and complexity of the Marsanne grape. Its impeccable balance and depth of flavor make it a standout choice for white wine enthusiasts. Whether enjoyed now or cellared for future enjoyment, this wine is sure to impress.