October 2017—Our 45th Anniversary!
Hermitage is one of those few places that hold mythical status in every French person’s wine imagination. While most of France has never had the opportunity to taste Romanée-Conti, or Château Petrus, or a wine from the hill of Hermitage, almost everyone seems to know these three places and hold them as the nec plus ultra for Burgundy, Bordeaux, and the Rhône, respectively. Adding to the celebrity of Hermitage is the north–south highway that descends from Paris to Marseille, cuts just below the slope, and serves as a sort of marker for vacation goers driving south to Provence that they’ve arrived in the hallowed Le Sud. I don’t have leads for you to score any Romanée-Conti or Petrus, but you do have this rare chance to get your hands on some Hermitage. I’ve never met anyone as obsessive and encyclopedic about this slope as Louis Barruol, born in Gigondas but with his heart in Hermitage. Memories of the great Hermitage producers and wines of yesteryear drive him to work tirelessly to recreate the magic only this terroir can produce. This cuvée, from the celebrated La Pierrelle parcel at the top of the hill, is intense, intriguing, rustic, and grand, with an utterly unique and long finish that Barruol describes as “crushed rock and cold ash.”
For those yet uninitiated to the pleasure of Hermitage, or those familiar with the Greats, none will be disappointed by this classic. –Chris Santini
|Producer:||Barruol / Lynch|
|Vineyard:||30 - 50 years|
|Aging:||Aged on average for 15 months in barrel, no new barrels - barrels are 1 or 2 years old|
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch