2018 L'Ermite Rouge Pinot Noir
Single Vineyard, Single Clone, One Barrel – MonoClone®
The Enigmatic Pinot Noir
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 a 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 2018 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 100% whole cluster fermentation. We aged the wine in a single 320-liter Cigare barrel from a favorite cooperage house in Burgundy for an extended time to create complexity and elegance 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 with 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 33 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 who have been loyal supporters of our journey, fills us with joy and pride.
L’ERMITE ROUGE...alone among the giants.
2018 L'ERMITE ROUGE Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Le Regard / The Look
Intense garnet and crimson gemlike clarity in the glass with density and texture from the whole cluster press. Long Legs denoting texture.
Le Nez / The Nose
The bouquet is earthy, with alluring aromas of raspberry liquor, violets, and dusty rose petals. The secondary nose is herbaceous, with scents of graphite; definite redwood pine needle aromas from the vineyard site lift the wine with freshness. Notes of licorice pastilles and orange zests in the background finish a superb nose.
Degustation / The TasteOn the front palate, the wine is deep, full-bodied, yet full of verve; a stellar constellation of red and black cherries, sweet dark berries, coffee bean, amaro, gamebirds, a brilliantly complex base of soil and a deft touch of vanillin oak. This wine is all about finesse with the racy profile setting the stage for the mid palate bursting with an elegant concentration of red cherries, bilberries, graphite, violet, and licorice. Its juicy sappiness is like biting into a ripe cherry, offering superb volume and precision. The wine is sleek and well-integrated at this stage, yet with dense tannins well tamed by the cigar barrel, it builds to a long, ethereal finish that will also ensure that it will enjoy a very long life (if you can resist keeping it in the cellar – we can’t).