2019 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.
Marked by scents of cedar, mint, violets and cherries, the 2019 Hermitage Ligne de Crete Les Grandes Vignes really opened up and added weight and texture with air, so I suspect my rating may be stingy. On the palate, it's currently medium to full-bodied, tight and silky in feel, with hints of licorice and maple syrup on the long, mouthwatering finish. Give it a few years, at minimum, in the cellar. Tasted twice (once blind), with consistent notes. Drink 2025 - 2040.
Joe Czerwinski - Wine Advocate (Jan 2022)
Powerful, highly perfumed aromas of black/blue fruit liqueur, licorice, olive and potpourri are complemented by an exotic suggestion of incense. Stains the palate with intense boysenberry, cherry, cassis and spicecake flavors that deepen steadily through the midpalate. Shows a suave blend of power and delicacy and betrays no rough edges. Youthfully chewy tannins add shape to an extremely long, mineral-driven finish that delivers outstanding clarity and floral thrust.
Josh Raynolds - Vinous
Plum, damson and blackberry coulis. Dense fruit, very fine tannins and a seamless texture. The alcohol here is quite high, but it's a very impressive wine nonetheless, with great concentration and length, not to mention fine tannins and balanced acidity. An authentic expression of the Hill. There is some cinnamon and cola oak spice running through it and the fruit can take it, it's well balanced. From lieu-dit Les Grandes Vignes, the highest plot on the hill of Hermitage, a new cuvée first made in 2015. Drinking Window 2026 - 2038.
Matt Walls - Decanter