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M²: Pomerol meets Hermitage

Two of France’s most celebrated winemakers have created a wine from two of its most prestigious appellations.

Global consultant Michel Rolland and Rhone star Michel Chapoutier – owner of the biodynamic Tain L’Hermitage – are releasing a limited number of M², a 50/50 blend of merlot from Rolland’s Chateau Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol and syrah from Chapoutier’s L’Ermite vineyard, both from the 2005 vintage.

Rolland told decanter.com that the 2005 vintage inspired the collaboration.

‘We have been friends for a long time, and have thought about working together on a wine, but it was really the brilliance of the 2005 vintage that was the impetus to make this first bottling.’ They intend to create an M² every time the vintage deserves it.

The wines were vinified separately, after which Rolland’s barrels were transported to Chapoutier’s cellars and both men worked on the final blend. The assemblage is historic: the practice of adding Hermitage to Bordeaux was common in the 19th century.

It has not been permitted under AOC rules since the introduction of the AOC system in 1936, which means M² will be labeled simply Vins de Pays.

M² (m carré) will be a limited release of 240 numbered magnums and 26 double magnums, and sold only by online auction in late November. The auction will take place during the week of 15-20 November. Bidding begins on 15 November and successful bids will be announced on the 20th.

All money raised will go to Chapoutier’s charitable foundation, M. Chapoutier Vins et Santé, set up in 1994 to help children with leukemia.

Rolland could not say how much they hoped to raise from the wine. ‘We don’t know, but we hope it is bought by very rich people who have plenty to spend on helping the cause.’

For further details, and to register for the auction: www.mchapoutier-vinetsante.fr/

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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