The 2013 Crozes Hermitage les Varonniers is brilliant. Coming from the western edge of Hermitage’s Bessards lieu-dit (this is a cool, west-facing parcel of granite soils), its deep ruby/purple colour is followed by classic granite-induced aromas and flavors of burning embers, cassis, licorice, spring flower and pepper. This Mini-Hermitage is medium-bodied, nicely concentrated and has building tannic grip; it will drink well for 10-15 years (from 2015). 93 points, Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate.
M. Chapoutier is a renowned producer in the northern Rhône valley, producing a diverse array of benchmark wines from the region’s most prestigious appellations. The Chapoutier family has roots in the region dating from 1808; however it is under the current leadership of winemaker Michel Chapoutier that quality at the estate has soared. Since taking over the family firm, Michel Chapoutier has overseen the dramatic transformation of the estate’s vineyards to biodynamic practices. Winemaking philosophy has also changed significantly with a more sensitive oak regime now in place to allow the wine’s character to show through. The wines are also bottled unfined and unfiltered. M.Chapoutier is famous both for the "téte de cuvées" wines from old vine vineyards including La Mordorée and Hermitage La Pavillon and its range of rare Sélections Parcellaires; celebrated single-vineyard wines from the Northern Rhone’s most site, the Hill of Hermitage.