Bright, deep red. Spicy, vibrant and tangy nose offers redcurrant, wild strawberry and minerally raspberry tones. Impressively fresh and nervy on the palate, with lift and thrust to the exuberant red fruit tones. As this opens in the glass, the fruit tones take a darker turn toward blackberry and cassis, also picking up notes of graphite and licorice. The deeply concentrated, spicy and wonderfully long, sweet finish is framed by huge but remarkably integrated tannins.
Robert Parker 100
Even better, and topping out on my scale, the 2003 Ermitage le Pavillon comes all from the granite soils of the Les Bessards lieu-dit and was aged 100% in new barrels. Its inky ruby/black color is followed by off the hook aromas and flavors of plum, creme de cassis, licorice, crushed rocks and violet/incense-like qualities. This gives way to a full-bodied, dense, seamless and textured 2003 that has building tannin, awesome concentration and a blockbuster finish. Drink it anytime over the coming two decades, although, as with the Le Meal, it’s gorgeous now.
Anticipated maturity: 2014-2034