One of the greatest values in Rhone wines is the spectacular 2001 Clos de l’Hermitage. From a vineyard owned by Formula One race car driver Jean Alesi, it is a blend of equal parts Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre aged in small casks, of which 25% are new. There are 1,600 six-packs for the United States. Believe me, that’s not nearly enough.
This is unbelievable stuff. Tasted blind I would have thought it was a top-flight Chateauneuf du Pape. An inky/purple color is accompanied by an extraordinary perfume of scorched earth, blackberries, blueberries, and melted licorice. With tremendous texture, full body, fabulous, sweet, glycerin-imbued fruit flavors, and a lusty, heady finish, it ranks among the most profound Cotes du Rhones I have ever tasted. Amazing!
Drink it over the next 10 years.