This is quite serious. It’s a sweet white wine made from the Marsanne variety, picked ripe, sorted and then dried on straw mats for two months. The must typically has 350 g/l sugar, and after fermentation it’s pretty sweet, at about the same level as a regular Sauternes, with 100 g/l residual sugar. The wines spends 20-24 months in new oak, and Chapoutier first revived this traditional style in 1990.
Chapoutier Hermitage Vin de Paille 1995 Northern Rhone, France
15% alcohol. Deep orange/gold colour. Remarkable, lively, complex nose of crystalline fruits, orange peel, spices and herbs, with some apricot and lime notes. The palate is viscous and sweet with bright acidity offsetting the citrus, marmalade and ripe peach fruit. Spicy depth and complexity here: a mind-blowing wine with concentration, depth and freshness. Still youthful at 15 years old. 97/100 (£60/half bottle, UK agent Mentzendorff)
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