M. Chapoutier: King of the Rhone

The wines.

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One of the stars of this year’s Vancouver International Wine Festival, among many, was unquestionably Michel Chapoutier. He sees his wines as “pictures of the dirt, nothing more, nothing less.” But what dirt it is, there in France’s Rhone Valley and Hermitage region. From the lovely Belleruche (previously featured here), and on through the lineup, there is nothing but glorious wine, handmade and reflective of the very specific sites from which the grapes are harvested. Worth seeking out: the Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Bernardine Rouge, $50; Côtes-du-Roussillon Villages Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem, $30; and for a bit of the sublime, Ermitage Le Méal Rouge, $200. The Chapoutier wines under $20 are uniformly good, too, so don’t miss them.

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March 5, 2014