We've heard it many times over the last 50 years of choosing wines, but it never ceases to amaze us. Chateau L'Ermitage was founded 1,000 years ago. Just thinking about the history of winemaking from the same spot for a millennia is nothing short of mind boggling. But that is just the frame of mind of current owners, Michel and Jerome Castillon, considered one of the most talented teams in the Rhone Valley.
L'Ermitage means "the hermit" and was reserved for grape-growing areas that were so remote, only a hermit would live there. Of course, things have changed in the last thousand years as today the estate, located in Auzan, is anything but remote. There are two banks in this area. One is Auzan and the other is Chateauneuf-du-Pape. If you could pick your neighbors, you couldn't do much better.
The blend here could be called "the holy trinity" of grapes. It consists of 40% Syrah, 40% Mourvedre and 20% Grenache. There is almost a magic interaction between these grapes, which is the reason they are in almost every Rhone blend made. After all, they had a thousand years to figure it out.
The 100% certified organic grapes from 25-year-old vines are crushed in very cold vats for up to three days. This extracts the color and intensity from the grapes for an imposing wine, such as our selection. The symmetry shows off intense black cherry, earth and pomegranate in a swirl of sensations just begging for a BBQ ribeye or lamb sausages with a touch of mint.