2014 L'Ermite Rouge Pinot Noir
The ONE Barrel
Single Vineyard, Single Clone, One Barrel – MonoClone®
The Enigmatic Pinot Noir Returns
Far West in coastal Sonoma, off a winding road through the magnificent redwoods, away from noise, urban pollution and distraction, a vineyard has been carved that truly exemplifies the term “a sense of place.”
The vineyard feels monastic – deep silence is barely interrupted by the wind ruffling the leaves or a Red- tailed Hawk serving as sentinel. The giant redwoods frame the vineyard, towering like guardians over a land lost in time. When we walk the vineyard, without knowing, we lower our voices, our pace slows, and a feeling of deep calm envelops the air. Silence is controlling us and we believe, the vines. It is an Hermitage of Peace.
Beginning with the 2009 vintage we made the decision to return to the roots of Burgundy and the craftsmanship of the Cistercian monks of Vougeot to focus on single clones from single vineyards and matured in single cooperage. Our limited production MonoClone pinot noirs reflect our commitment to harness the purity and complexity of one clone from one vineyard.
The 2014 Vintage for pinot noir is an exceptional one at Soliste. Because of our continuous desire to craft compelling Pinot Noir, we selected the very best grapes through multiple passes at harvest and with 50% whole cluster fermentation. We aged the wine in a single cigar shaped oak barrel from France (the one invented by the late Didier Dagueneau) and we waited, and WAITED…for 29 Months…to create L’ERMITE ROUGE
L’ERMITE ROUGE is an ethereal wine that will challenge your senses. Our goals have always focused on being in the conversation with Great Burgundies and L’ERMITE ROUGE is of that brotherhood– anything else for us is simply not acceptable. Some may feel that it is presumptuous of us to even declare such ideas, others, closer to us hint it is just madness…obsession.
There are very few times one can feel truly lucky and privileged that their craft could stand along the very best. L’ERMITE ROUGE confirms all of our expectations and embodies our commitment and passion to craft compelling Pinot Noirs. L’ERMITE ROUGE originates from humble admiration of the dedication from the Cistercian monks of Abbaye de Cîteaux who created Clos De Vougeot over centuries. Who knows if we would be enjoying Burgundies today if not for a handful of Monks and Ermites.
In Burgundy, a winemaker may reserve a special barrel for friends and family. They call this barrel Soliste. L’ERMITE ROUGE defines the origin and the promise of Soliste. From one barrel only 27 cases of 750s were produced, bottled and waxed by hand. Although it hurts to part with so few bottles, sharing this special release with you, the very few that have been loyal supporters of our journey, fills us with joy and pride.
L’ERMITE ROUGE...alone among the giants.
2014 L'ERMITE ROUGE Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Le Regard / The Look
Mysterious depth and luminosity showing concentration and structure, crystalline cherry compote reflection, very pure.
Le Nez / The Nose
Extremely exotic aromas of bitter caramelized wild cherries, boysenberry, and earthiness interlaced with high herbal tones, violets, and refined scents of sous-bois (forest floor). As the wine evolves in the glass or decanter, the aromatics become more voluptuous and sweet with dark cherry compote aromatics, spiked with star anise and cardamom. Superbly elegant and powerful, the back nose has layers of bitter chocolate and black tea.
Degustation / The Taste
The palate delivers an extraordinary silky texture and weight with layers of exotic spice and black tea. This is a wine of great depth, incredibly smooth, with dark wild cherries and violets, spiked with cardamom, star anise, and vanilla fat. There is a definite tension and pepperiness in the wine stemming from the whole clusters. The mid-palate is very long and dense with musty sous-bois, truffles, and dry herbal aromatics, all in superb balance and harmony. The finish is all about elegance and a silky length that is elevated by bright acidity giving the wine verve and lift. The long barrel aging tamed the tannins from the whole clusters but left all the aromatics intact creating a magnificent wine for you to savor for years to come.