2015 Delas Hermitage Lieu Dit Ligne de Crete Les Grandes Vignes
Beginning with the 2015 vintage, Delas have introduced a new wine in the range from the hill of Hermitage made exclusively from the "Les Grandes Vignes" lieu-dit. Situated above L'Ermite and just east of the chapel at the peak of the Hermitage hillside at around 325m altitude, this south-facing plot forms an amphitheatre of semicircular vine terraces planted to Syrah. Winemaking is sensitive to retain the finesse and subtlety of this vineyard, with the grapes completely destemmed before being transferred by gravity to stainless steel vats for alcoholic fermentation. The wine is then transferred to barrel for malolactic fermentation and 20 months elevage. The barrels used are fine grained and no more than 30-40% are new. In a good year production is limited to only 1,800 to 2,000 bottles.
Since the wine was finally released with a name and label, I've taken the opportunity to update readers on Delas's 2015 Hermitage Ligne de Crete Les Grandes Vignes. Unfortunately, it's in a bit of a quiescent phase on the nose, but determined swimming coaxes out hints of crushed stone, pencil shavings, machine oil and blueberries. In the mouth, it's considerably more dramatic, with mouthfilling richness balanced by fine-grained tannins and a sense of stone-shackled restraint. Possessing tremendous power and length, it should age well for at least two decades. Drink 2025 - 2045.
Joe Czerwinski - Wine Advocate (May 2021)
Glass-staining ruby. Mineral-accented dark berries, licorice, incense, olive and succulent flowers on the intensely perfumed nose. Impressively concentrated, expansive flavors of blueberry, black raspberry, spicecake, smoked meat and candied violet are complicated by licorice and bitter chocolate notes that sneak in on the back half. Sweet, sappy and sharply delineated on the floral- and dark-berry-driven finish, which shows outstanding clarity and well-knit but substantial tannins that build smoothly and steadily. Drink 2025-2035.
Josh Raynolds - Vinous
From one of the all-time great vintages for the Northern Rhône, the 2015 Hermitage Les Grandes Vignes reveals a ruby/plum color as well as a tight, closed, full-bodied style that's going to benefit from bottle age. Offering notes of darker currants, loamy soil, new leather, graphite, and obvious minerality, it's nicely balanced, has ripe tannins, and outstanding length. Certainly a more elegant, classic 2015, I suspect it’s in a more closed phase (as are many 2015s today) since it wasn't until the second day that this really opened up. Do your best to hide bottles for another 4-5 years, and it's going to deliver the goods over the following two decades. Drink 2026 - 2047.
There's a little dusty element to the red fruits on the nose, likely from the élevage; the wood is a little prominent still, the acidity quite noticeable for a typical Hermitage. It has a very silky, seamless, relatively lightweight palate, but not without intensity, and has a strong mineral core. It's as if there's a little Vosne-Romanée blended in. Elegant and well-balanced with exceptionally fine tannin. Don't expect classic Hermitage muscle and weight here - this is much more about finesse and contour. Not showing huge complexity now, so I would wait, even though the tannic load is relatively light. Certainly approachable now; better from 2026. Drinking Window 2021 - 2036.
Matt Walls - Decanter