Hermitage vintage guide

Hermitage vintage guide

Hermitage is one of the Rhône’s most long-lived wines – even the whites can age successfully for decades. See Matt Walls’ vintage guide back to 1998 below, and scroll to the bottom for our experts’ top-rated Hermitage wines from the past 20 years.

Hermitage vintage guide:


Red: Powerful, ripe – sometimes too ripe – and very tannic wines are the result of a hot, exceedingly dry summer. Some can be uncomfortably extracted and drying, but those producers who managed to retain a sense of freshness have made very long-lived wines.

White: Powerfully concentrated white wines, but ones that can sometimes lack elegance and freshness. This effect can be compounded by those who opted for liberal use of small new oak barrels. The best, however, will be very long-lived.

Red 4.5/5 | White 4/5


Red: Reduced yields due to a very rare hail shower on the Hill. A shame, as 2016 is a wonderful year in Hermitage, producing muscular wines but with real dynamism, freshness and balance. Not hugely powerful, but have real Hermitage terroir expression.

White: A good vintage for white Hermitage – certainly better than the two vintages either side. They can be a little low in acidity but broadly have a good sense of freshness and balance. Yields were hit hard, however.

Red 5/5 | White 4.5/5


Red: ‘It’s a great vintage,’ said Jean-Louis Chave when I tasted with him from barrel, comparing it to the 1990 – another vintage that was generous in quality and of extremely high quality. Concentrated wines but with freshness that will help them age for decades.

White: A hot vintage that was fantastic for red Hermitage but a little less benevolent for the whites. Though generally the quality is good, some whites can be a little overly opulent and lack freshness, but the best are impressive and concentrated.

Red 5/5 | White 4/5


Red: A wet, cool summer produced a relatively lean style but generally speaking, Hermitage performed better than most Rhône appellations in this tricky 2014 vintage. It’s not a vintage for long-term ageing, but the very best wines might surprise thanks to their acidity and freshness.

White: A difficult vintage in the Northern Rhône in general, due to the cool, wet summer, but it’s a great vintage for whites. In Hermitage, the higher lieux-dits tended to outperform those near the bottom, and the best have a real vibrancy, energy, cut and freshness that will propel these wines far into the future.

Red 3.5/5 | White 5/5


Red: Fairly structured wines without great generosity of fruit, but nonetheless solid. These wines should give pleasure into the medium term, but aren’t for long term ageing. Likely to be a little stolid in youth.

White: Cold weather at flowering reduced yields, affecting the whites more than the reds. Quality however is largely good for white Hermitage, producing balanced wines with good concentration and a strong stamp of terroir.

Red 3.5/5 | White 4/5


Red: An easy vintage to love, marked by concentration, vibrancy and a juicy drinkability, and not a vintage particularly prone to closing down in youth. Reds should age well into the medium term on their freshness and natural balance.

White: An equally lovely vintage for both red and white Hermitage, both benefitting from the natural freshness of the vintage.

Red 4.5/5 | White 4.5/5


Red: A hot spring and cool summer were followed by a hot autumn: a strangely inverted year, leading to decent crop of red Hermitage wines, but they can feel a little stodgy and lacking in definition. Choose wines from higher lieux-dits if possible.

White: Marginally better for whites than reds thanks to some cooler, fresher weather in the summer, but this year lacks the concentration of 2010 and the freshness of 2012.

Red 3.5/5 | White 3.5/5


Red: A low yielding year but a truly great vintage that – when it eventually comes round – will provide a crop of incredible wines. Monolithic in fruit and…

Source : https://www.decanter.com/learn/vintage-guides/hermitage-vintage-guide-421737/