Profile of Maison M. Chapoutier
Today, Chapoutier is one of the most important and prestigious negotiants in the northern Rhône wine country, with the largest vineyard holdings in the Hermitage hill. From their base at the heart of the spectacular Rhône Valley, Chapoutier continues to set benchmarks for what can be achieved from the immensely varied terroir of this region – every label that leaves these cellar doors is superbly crafted example of its appellation. In addition, this dynamic family has extended its expertise globally and now produces excellent wines in countries as diverse as Australia, Portugal, and the US. Fundamental to the Chapoutier approach is a philosophy that, above all else, demonstrates the highest respect for maintaining a natural balance in the vineyard; Chapoutier is a leading bio-dynamic grower in the region, believing that artificial additions should be limited as much as humanly possible. Such dedication to preserving each terroir’s unique properties is immediately apparent when one tastes Chapoutier’s wine range, which shows an unmistakable sense of place and authenticity.
This remarkable family concern can trace its origins back to the 19th century when Chapoutier’s ancestors worked these ancient vines as farmers rather than producers. However, a distant ancestor, Polydor Chapoutier, purchased some vines in 1879 in the northern Rhône, making that life-changing switch from grower to producer. Establishing a small family domaine, successive generations of the Chapoutiers grew the business, most notably Max Chapoutier, who made great quality strides in the mid-20th century. Max retired in 1977, after which his sons Michel and Marc Chapoutier took the reigns, steering Chapoutier to further greatness. Today, Marcel is a dynamic innovator bar none, investing in Australian vineyards in 1997 and Portugal in 2007 and trialing bio-dynamic viticulture in 1991. Marcel is also renowned for introducing Braille to his wine labels in 1996, a tribute to Maurice Monier of La Sizeranne, founder of the French Association for the Blind.
Thanks to Marcel’s careful direction, Chapoutier is today an utterly splendid producer of quality Rhône wines, perhaps the finest in the northern Rhône and among the best in France. The entire range is worthy of merit, but particularly new benchmarks have been set in both Crozes-Hermitage – with the dense, muscular, and concentrated Les Varonniers – and Saint-Joseph, with the red and white versions of this underrated appellation. And then there is Côte-Rôtie La Mordoree, a magnificent example of the appellation; arguably a worthy contender to Guigal’s La Turque. Chapoutier offers an unparalleled introduction to the great diversity of wines that exist in this beguiling region.
M Chapoutier La Mordoree Côte-Rôtie
100% Syrah. Fermentation takes place in concrete vats – only the free run juice is used. The wine is then aged for a period of 14-18 months in French oak casks, a proportion of which will be new. A complex, structured Cote Rotie that will improve greatly with bottle age.
M Chapoutier Coteau de Chery Condrieu
100% Viognier. Fermentation takes place in oak casks, using whole bunches and natural yeasts. The wine is then aged for a period of 8 months in 600-litre French barrels, and then a further two months in concrete vats.
M Chapoutier Les Varonniers Crozes-Hermitage
100% Syrah. Fermentation takes place in concrete vats – only the free run juice is used. The wine is then aged for a period of 14-18 months in French oak casks, a proportion of which will be new. A wine that is accessible on release but will benefit from cellaring.
M Chapoutier Vin de Paille Ermitage (white)
100% Marsanne. Fermentation takes place in oak casks. The wine is then aged for a period of approximately 24 months in French oak.
M Chapoutier L'Ermite Ermitage (red)
100% Syrah. Fermentation takes place in concrete vats – only the free run juice is used. The wine is then aged for a period of 18-20 months in French oak casks, a proportion of which will be new.
M Chapoutier Saint-Joseph Le Clos
100% Syrah. Fermentation takes place in small concrete vats. The wine is then aged for a period of 20 months in 25% new French oak.
M Chapoutier Barbe Rac Châteauneuf-du-Pape
100% Grenache. Fermentation takes place in concrete vats – only the free run juice is used. The wine is then aged for a period of 16 months in concrete vats.
M Chapoutier Les Greffieux Ermitage
100% Syrah. Fermentation takes place in cement vats – only the free run juice is used. The wine is then aged for a period of 14-18 months in French oak casks, a third of which will be new.
18 Avenue Dr Paul Durand, 33330
26600, Tain-l'Hermitage, Rhône
Tel +33 (0) 04 75 08 28 65
Fax +33 (0) 04 75 08 81 70
- AOC Hermitage
- Area under vine
- 360 Hectares
- Age of vines
- 30 years+
- Oak barrel origin
- Michel Chapoutier
- Chapoutier family
- 8 million bottles per annum
- Grape varietals
- Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache, Clairette, Mourvedre, Cinsault and others