The hill of l'Hermitage has been a fortress of world class wine for many centuries. Long before there was a global trade in wine, and hundreds of years before you could walk into a neighborhood wine shop and see wines from all corners of the earth, those with means (think Kings, Popes, nobility and founding fathers) would travel to Tain l'Hermitage to load up barrels for their private consumption. The 20th century was a rough one for the Northern Rhone though, with the regions vigneron struggling to recover from phylloxera and two world wars. A few giants (Guigal, Chapoutier) led the charge back, but the 21st century has seen a true renaissance of small production, high quality domaines making a real splash. Marc Sorrel is a perfect example of this re-birth. In 1984 he took over the small, family estate that his grandfather established. He has vines across the river in Croze-Hermitage, but the heart of his holdings is on the hill of Hermitage. He is a true farmer, spending much of his times in the vines that he tends with fully organic practices. In the cellar he is a low-intervention traditionalist. He uses whole cluster fermentation, native yeasts, and gentle extraction. The Hermitage wines are aged for about 24 months in older barrels before bottling. His aim is pure, terroir transparent Syrah that captures the wonderful combination of elegance and wild, exotic spice.
Earthy , Fruity , Rich