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Wine Advocate-Parker : Showing more minerality than the le Meal, yet more plushness and sexiness than the l'Ermite, the 2006 Ermitage le Pavillon is a tour de force that gives up sensational notes of crushed rocks, blackberries, currants, smoked meats and licorice. It shows a touch of iron and bloodiness with time in the glass, is full-bodied, seamless and incredibly layered on the palate. There's no shortage of tannin either and this beauty needs 4-5 years of cellaring to hit full maturity, and will keep for another 2-3 decades.
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.