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Wine Advocate-Parker :All of the single vineyard Ermitages turned out as good as I had hoped, possibly even better. In short they are among the strongest wines one could hope for in this vintage. The 2004 Ermitage Le Pavillon is outstanding, but certainly not one of the most compelling wines Michel Chapoutier has made. It is dense, dark ruby/purple, and seems more austere and backward than the Le Meal, but I still think these are 15- to 20-year wines as opposed to the normal 50+ that the top vintages of these single vineyard Ermitages produce. Dense with black currant fruit intermixed with licorice, sweet blackberries, and white chocolate, this is an elegant, mid-weight Pavillon that should be drinking well in about 5-6 years and last 15-20.
Ermitage le Pavillon comes from "lieu-dit' (named place) Les Bessards, a fine layer of sediment lying on granite slopes. Its 65 year old vines are positioned at a lower altitude band of Hermitage hill, at approximately 130 metres, above the ruins of a stone house that gives it its name. With tiny yields (20 hl/ha), this is perhaps the most complex of the various Ermitage selections. Le Pavillon is characterised by great length on the palate, and liquorice and tabacco aromas.
Hermitage is a French wine Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in the northern Rhône wine region of France. This is arguably the most famous Northern Rhône appellation producing a small quantity of extremely complex long-lived reds and full-bodied whites.
With just 331 acres of vineyards on the east side of the Rhône, the Hermitage hill towers over the riverfront town of Tain-l'Hermitage. Only Syrah, Marsanne and Roussanne are planted here on the south-facing, heat-retaining granite hillside. Further expansion of the appellation is impossible and yields are limited to 40 hl/ha., so Hermitage's wines will always be rare. The hill is by some seen as the spiritual home of the Syrah grape variety
Made from Syrah these wines are an inky black to deep garnet color, and the aroma is very much of black fruits and spices. The flavor has smoke and pepper, sometimes raspberry or blackberry, as well as mellow tannins.
Rich, dry white wines are also produced from Marsanne and/or Roussanne. These wines are also usually left to age, for up to 15 years.
Vin de paille or Straw Wine is also produced in this region.
In the 19th century wines from Bordeaux were often "hermitaged" (hermitagé, that is, blended with Hermitage) and could fetch higher prices as a result.