Ermitage wines possess a rich historical past.
They were appreciated as early on as Roman times when they were enjoyed (as well as Côte Rotie wines) under the name of " Vienne wines "and were later to be called " Saint Christopher's hillside wines " because of a chapel there bearing the saint's name. They were also to be known of as " Tournon wines ".
The name of Ermitage probably first appeared in the XVIIth Century in memory of Henry Gaspard, a knight from Stérimberg : who having come back from the Crusades (in the XIIIth Century) and tired of waging war, lived as a hermite on a hillside which had been given to him by Anne of Castille, Queen of Spain.
There he planted a vineyard. Alexander Dumas as well as the Tsar Nicholas II are among the many connoisseurs of this particularly highly estimated wine.
The age of the vines (90-100 years) guarantees a very high quality production.
This plot has an area of approximatively 4 ha.
It has given its name to this plot selection and has a particular geology. This soil is made up with sediments on a fine layer being on a granitic subsoil.
Grapes are hand-harvested to the limit of over-maturity. Due to their age, these vines give low yields.
Totally destemmed, the grapes ferment in concrete tanks.
From one to two daily treadings ensure a good extraction. The temperature of fermentation does not exceed 32°C.
Maceration lasts between 4 and 5 weeks, to obtain a polymerization of tannins.
Only the free-run wine is used for this single vineyard.
The wine is matured in oak casks (with a 30% average proportion of new ones) between 18 and 20 months.
The clarification is natural.
COLOUR : deep garnet red with purple lights.
NOSE : tarry and smoky, raspberry, blackberry, walnut, liquorice.
MOUTH : complex, strong attack, velvety and balanced, long final, liquorice, tobacco, cocoa.
According to the vintage, the wine can be kept from 30 to 60 years, indeed from 50 to 75 years.