In the panoramic lee of SAINT PAUL’S CATHEDRAL, MICHEL CHAPOUTIER made his annual pilgrimage on the iron horse known as Eurostar to display his 2016s in the last week of April 2017. The event was held at the TATE MODERN. As ever with MICHEL, he sailed in, spoke largely on message, had some lunch, then whizzed back to Gallic shores. He is much in demand these days for all sorts of committees and bodies that oversee the world of wine in France.
He is happy with the vintage, although his company was badly hit by the April 2016 hail on the hill of HERMITAGE, which reduced yields on the prized L’HERMITE and LES BESSARDS to a miniscule 10 hl/ha. The effect has been to concentrate those wines beyond the more cool features naturally found in this vintage, which stands in contrast to the copious, rich depth and size of the 2015s.
Prices have risen substantially between 2015 and 2016; 14%, even with the lowering in the GB£-€ rate, is going it somewhat, and it remains to be seen whether the recent momentum in popularity of the NORTHERN RHÔNE will be left behind, as buyers re-discover the classical joys of BORDEAUX in a good vintage there.
Full tasting notes on the upper end of MICHEL’s range have been entered under M CHAPOUTIER; please log in to see those, including his two very good 2016 CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE reds, CROIX DE BOIS and BARBE RAC.