The steep terraced slope of Hermitage faces south and is located to the north-east of Tain l’Hermitage itself. Protected from nothern winds, the micro-climate is sunny and warm. This special cuvée is dedicated to Louis Gambert de Loche who originally owned the vineyard and founded the Cave de Tain in 1933. The grapes are sourced from selected parcels or lieux-dits within the 21 hectares owned by the Cave and the fruit is mainly Bessards blended with some from Le Méal, La Croix and L'Homme. Vines are trained on the traditional 'échalas', all grapes are hand-picked and farmed organically. The parcels are a mix of granite and fluvio-glacial alluvial soil which help to naturally limit yields to 36 hectolitres per hectare maximum. For such a special cuvée, the vinification is careful and considered. The fermentation is slow and long followed by maceration in vats. The wine is run off directly into French oak barriques (225 litre barrels) while still warm where the malolactic fermentation takes place, softening out the harsher acids. This is followed by several rackings (to gently remove sediment) and the wine is aged in total for 16 months and then fined.
An appealing nose of blackcurrants and clove spice is followed by an incredibly concentrated, generous palate dark fruits, finely grained supple tannins and balancing freshness, welcome given the warmth of the vintage. Still young but showing its potential, this will drink for several years.
Decant before serving with roast lamb and marinated roast venison.
Sommelier Wine Awards 2019