Wine Tasting: Chapoutier - the Whites (15th Oct 1997)

Presented by Marc Chapoutier, Tain l'Hermitage.

1. 1996 Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone Belleruche Blanc

15th Oct 1997 Rhone Table White

100% Bourboulenc.
Bright, pale gold.
Restrained nose with some clean fruit and waxy notes.
Light bodied but plenty of flavour. Sweet honeyed fruit with mineral and orange peel characters. Fresh acidity, plenty of alcohol and a reasonable finish.
Fresh, easy and approachable but may develop fatter, fuller flavours with time.

2. 1996 Chapoutier Chateauneuf du Pape Bernadine Blanc

15th Oct 1997 Rhone Table White

100% Grenache Blanc.
Pale, bright, even, straw.
Light but appealing nose with an oily, cheesy note.
Medium bodied with soft, mouth-filling texture; rich, oily, sweet fruit; crisp, citrussy acids; and warm alcohol. Well balanced with a touch of oak coming through on the finish.
Very good but I don't think it will age.

3. 1996 Chapoutier Saint Joseph Deschants Blanc

15th Oct 1997 Rhone Table White

100% Marsanne, granitic soil
Pale, bright, straw/gold.
Subtle but appetising nose with apricots and alcohol in good balance and a trace of toasted oak.
Medium to full bodied, with flavours of minerals and ripe mangoes and some spicy, smoked oak. Excellent balance of alcohol and citrus acids. Long, creamy, warm finish.
Forward and appealing - a star!

4. 1996 Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage Meysonniers Blanc

15th Oct 1997 Rhone Table White

100% Marsanne, clay soil.
Bright, pale straw/gold.
Much more delicate nose than the St Joseph - hints of alcohol and oak.
Medium bodied and fresh with good citrussy acidity, mineral flavours and alcohol. Dry on the finish with plenty of acidity - this could almost be a weighty Chablis!
Superb food wine.

5. 1996 Chapoutier Hermitage Chante Alouette

15th Oct 1997 Rhone Table White

100% Marsanne, loess and chalk/clay soil.
Bright, pale gold.
A little dumb on the nose with some minerals, spice, oak and alcohol.
Fat, full bodied with oily, sweet fruit and powerful oak. Soft and alcoholic but keeps its balance. Minerals and spice on the long finish.
[This wine was tasted after 2 weeks in the bottle - recommended ageing: 20 to 30 years. Small wonder it wasn't giving much away]

6. 1996 Chapoutier Condrieu

15th Oct 1997 Rhone Table White

100% Viognier, granite soil.
Bright, even, pale straw/gold.
Aromatic and flowery - distinctively Viognier.
Medium to full bodied, dry and intense with citrussy acids, high levels of alcohol and flavours of spicy oak, orange peel, minerals and floral fruit.
Superb drinking now.