2019 Chapoutier Ermitage le Meal

Syrah - 750ML
Reg: $299.94
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JS 98 JD 98 DC 97 WA 97 VN 97 WS 97
JS 98

jamessuckling.com, February 2022

At first very leathery and animal in the nose, then the smoke wafts in and is followed by candied-orange, tobacco-leaf and coffee notes. Very concentrated, but focused and elegant for this appellation. Invigorating...
JD 98

jebdunnuck.com, February 2022

The inky hued 2019 Ermitage Le Méal offers up a classic, kaleidoscope-like bouquet of red and black fruits, smoked meats, crushed stone, spice, and burning embers. Full-bodied, ripe, and opulent, it has a wonderful sense...
DC 97

Decanter, October 2020

There's a gently resinous aspect to the savoury blackberry fruit alongside menthol and blackcurrant bush. A very powerful, muscular year, this has a huge tannic framework, almost impenetrable, with great depth and a very...
WA 97

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, January 2022

(97+ points) Chapoutier's 2019 Ermitage le Méal is a standout. Crushed stone and pencil shavings accent blackberry and blueberry aromas, while the full-bodied palate is richly tannic and concentrated, showing plenty of...
VN 97

Vinous, December 2022

Opaque violet color. Powerful, mineral-accented cherry, dark berry liqueur, smoked meat and floral scents are complemented by suggestions of five-spice powder, cracked pepper and licorice. Chewy and broad on the palate...
WS 97

Wine Spectator, July 2022

This covers a broad swath, with waves of warm humus, roasted alder and dark tobacco playing an equal part with the layers of steeped black currant and blackberry fruit. The finish features bay leaf, leather and warm stone...


Color & Type Red
Varietal Syrah
Country France
Region Rhone
Sub-region Northern Rhone
Appellation Hermitage
Vintage 2019
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.

Ermitage wines possess a rich historical past. They were appreciated as early on as Roman times when they were enjoyed (as well as Cote Rotie wines) under the name of "Vienne wines" and were later to be called "Saint Christopher's hillside wines" because of a chapel there bearing the saint's name. They were also to be known of as “Tournon wines".

The name of Ermitage probably first appeared in the 17th Century in memory of Henry Gaspard, a knight from Sterimberg who, having come back from the Crusades (in the 13th Century) and tired of waging war, lived as a hermit on a hillside which had been given to him by Anne of Castille, Queen of Spain. There he planted a vineyard.

Chapoutier’s Ermitage le Meal, 100% Syrah, is produced with grapes coming from the Meal hillside. This slope is composed of high terraces of shingles and clay. The vines are about 50 years old.

The color is deep garnet red with purple lights during its youth. The wine has ripe fruits and smoky aromas, powerful tannins, and taste of velvety, blackberry jam. Depending on the vintage, the wine can be kept from 30 to 60 years or from 50 to 75 years.

The 2019 Chapoutier Ermitage le Meal is a remarkable red wine hailing from the prestigious Hermitage appellation in the Northern Rhone region of France. Crafted from the Syrah grape variety, this wine showcases the expertise and passion of the renowned producer, Chapoutier.

In the glass, this wine displays an enticing inky hue that immediately captivates the senses. The nose is a kaleidoscope of aromas, featuring a harmonious blend of red and black fruits, smoked meats, crushed stone, spice, and burning embers. Each sniff reveals a new layer of complexity, inviting you to explore further.

On the palate, the 2019 Ermitage le Meal impresses with its full-bodied and opulent character. The ripe fruit flavors are beautifully balanced, displaying incredible concentration and a wonderful sense of balance. The tannic structure is robust yet refined, adding depth and longevity to the wine. The finish is nothing short of extraordinary, leaving a lasting impression.

This cuvée is sourced from the middle of Hermitage Hill, where the alluvial and loess soils of the Méal lieu-dit contribute to its unique character. The grapes are meticulously destemmed before undergoing 18 months of aging in a combination of barrels and demi-muids, with 20% new oak.

Wine critics have unanimously praised the 2019 Chapoutier Ermitage le Meal. Jeb Dunnuck awarded it an impressive score of 98 points, describing it as a classic expression of the terroir. Decanter also rated it highly, giving it 97 points and highlighting its powerful and muscular nature. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate similarly awarded it 97+ points, noting its rich tannins and concentrated structure.

James Suckling commended the wine's elegance and freshness, while Wine Spectator praised its layers of complexity and longevity. Vinous also gave it 97 points, applauding its powerful aromatics and fine delineation.

With its exceptional quality and pedigree, the 2019 Chapoutier Ermitage le Meal is a wine that demands attention. It is best enjoyed from 2025 onwards, but for those with the patience, it will continue to evolve and delight for decades to come.