A stunning, potentially profound effort - 09 Sorrel Hermitage Le Gréal

Posted by Ian McFadden

The Holy Gréal
2009 Sorrel Hermitage Rouge Le Gréal
Simply Monumental

"A stunning, potentially profound effort" -Robert Parker

Domaine Marc Sorrel is one of the profound secrets of Hermitage.

This granite mountain, Hermitage, is the chosen land for Syrah. If Côte Rôtie is known for its delicacy and grace, then Hermitage is known for its thundering grandeur and regal elegance. When you think about France's great red wines, you start in Burgundy or Bordeaux and then, quickly land in Hermitage.

There's, of course, no news flash here. Jean-Louis Chave's Hermitage is one of the greatest red wines in the world and collectors have been chasing these bottles for many, many decades. Prices have climbed, and recently soared, accordingly.

Marc Sorrel offers some relief from the upward push of pricing, especially in the blockbuster, triple-digit vintage that is 2009. (The only U.S. price currently on 09 Chave? $600!)

Sorrel has only 1.8ha of Syrah planted in Hermitage and the production of today's wine, his 2009 Le Gréal, is just over 400 cases. With such small quantities, Sorrel's wines have been left with no other option than to cruise under the radar a bit. Prices reflect this.

Sorrel's 2009 Hermitage offers the kind of value that has the aura of a secret. This "secrecy" seems even more real when you note that these are the only bottles in the country and only three other stores in the world offer the wine.

The parcel on offer today amounts to just a few cases. If you're receiving this offer, it's because you've supported the Rhone program in the past.

Hermitage is famous for having three top sites - L'Hermite, Les Bessards and Le Méal. Sorrel's Le Gréal is made up of at least ninety percent Le Méal. What remains is sourced from Greffieux, a site that many would argue is just behind the top three. Le Méal is a south-facing, rocky sun trap. It produces wines of muscle and rich fruits. The small amount of Greffieux lends an elegance that tampers the full-throttle intensity of the wine.

With that said, Sorrel's 2009 Hermitage is unapologetically masculine with soaring fruit, smoke and roasted meat. Sorrel's methods are traditional - stems are normally included, no new oak is used. The results are structured and layered wines built for long aging. Parker has Sorrel's 2009 Gréal pegged as a 30-35 year wine. (See his full tasting note below.)

2009 was an epic vintage for the Rhone. The vintage produced monumental wines of power and structure with firm acid back bones. Many producers, Sorrel included, produced their best wines in years.

As mentioned earlier, the only thing that tarnishes this offering is that there's just so little wine. Please give us your maximum order, and we'll do our best to allocate fairly.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director Fine and Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

Robert Parker: A stunning, potentially profound effort, the 2009 Hermitage Le Greal (14.6% natural alcohol) is a 30 to 35-year wine. Terrific aromas of charcoal, roasted meats, blackberries, boysenberries, licorice and graphite jump from the glass of this full-bodied, unctuously textured, thick, concentrated wine. Give it 5-7 years of cellaring and enjoy it over the following three decades.