Domaine du Colombier Hermitage Blanc 2017 Northern Rhone
The continuing elevation of this Domaine into the lofty heights of Hermitage greatness is testament to the hard work of the tall, spindly owner Florent Viale. He gives his wines a prolonged maturation of a year and a half, does not filter, and prefers using oak tonneaux for rather than the smaller 225L barriques so as not to dampen terroir and fruit. As a result, the Hermitage is powerful and wholesome but not without a touch of class. The wines are a surprisingly elegant example of Hermitage.
Fragrant fruit-skin notes on the nose. A palate bursting with fresh peach and apricot fruit with floral citrus blossom and white flower touches. There is a toned, refined strength to this. Classy and well-defined. After being fermented in barrel and with a years worth of ageing, in young but not new oak, it is incredible that there is very little oakiness to this, if any. A glorious 100% barrel-fermented Marsanne from a parcel in the clay limestone Maison Blanche vineyard planted in 1944. Being high up on the plateau this is always the last vineyard to be harvested at the Domaine.