Maison Chapoutier is without doubt one of the most prestigious names in the Rhône producing some of the finest Hermitage. The domain converted its 350 hectares of vines to biodynamic viticulture, making it the largest vineyard to adopt this method of cultivation. It has held certification since 1999. The Chapoutier savoir faire has spread to other vineyards in other winemaking regions: Provence, Beaujolais, Roussillon, Champagne, Alsace, Portugal but also Australia. In 1879, Polydor Chapoutier bought a few hectares of vines and started a negociant business. Seven generations have succeeded him, and Michel Chapoutier is currently at the helm. Since 1996, all the labels have been transcribed in braille. Chapoutier is often one of the last to harvest to ensure that grapes reach optimal maturity.
About the cuvée
La Bernardine comes from a pebbly terroir in the former bed of the Rhône river. As tradition dictates in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this is a blend of several grape varieties. There is a large majority of Grenache with a bit of Syrah and Mourvèdre added. The grapes are picked by hand before a rigorous sorting process. They are then vinified in concrete vats to preserve the freshness of the Grenache. This vinification is undertaken at high temperatures in order to extract as much colour and tannin as possible from the grapes. The wine is then matured in concrete vats for 15 months. In the glass, it has a deep, crimson hue, with a complex nose rich in black fruits and peppery accents from the Syrah. On the palate, it is delicate but full-bodied with tannins that balance perfectly with the levels of acidity and alcohol. The finish is spicy with striking persistence. This wine is crafted for extensive aging of a few decades. It's a nice one to serve for a special occasion, perfect to pair with a boeuf en daube or rabbit with olives.
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