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Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Blanc, Rhône Valley, France, 2018

Regular price $369.95 Sale price $400.00
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Overview of the Wine
Going back to 1481, when the first Jean-Louis Chave was gifted a vineyard in St Joseph by the nobleman Farconnet, 25 generations have farmed some of the best parcels in the Northern Rhône. Though now known as perhaps the best producer of Hermitage (and certainly among the best blenders in the world), the family only expanded to this famous hill during the mid-1800s wave of phylloxera that decimated Europe's vineyards. 

In the 1970s, when Gerard Chave took over from his father, the domaine rapidly achieved megastar status due to the extraordinary quality of his wines. Gerard's son Jean-Louis (25th of his name) now oversees the estate and has shown an ever expanding dedication to improving the already stunning quality of these rare wines. Jean-Louis Chave regularly dedicates the domaine to intense and exacting projects, the benefits of which will be seen by future generations. Indeed, the estate employs three full time stonemasons just to repair the traditional stone walls dotting the vineyards. 

Since the 1990s, Jean-Louis Chave has offered a second label known as 'J.L. Chave Sélection' that provides a glimpse of the reason for the estate's fame at a fraction of the price. Many of these wines are from declassified estate wine and long term farming contracts, and are vinified in the domaine's primary cellar in Mauves. 

Natural and Organic. 

Origin
Hermitage AOC, Rhône Valley, France

Grapes/Blend
80% Marsanne, 20% Roussanne

Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Predominantly Marsanne with around 20% Roussanne, the Hermitage Blanc is a blend from several different vineyards: Rocoules, Hermite, Péléat, and Maison Blanche. Each vineyard has a distinctive geological profile and as a result each plays a particular role in the overall expression of the wine.The wine is fermented entirely in mostly neutral oak barrels and ages in oak for two years before release.

100 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 
Chave's 2018 Hermitage Blanc, now that it's been blended and bottled for over a year, smashed my already lofty expectations. Showing a wonderfully delicate and intricate nose of white flowers, toasted grain and white peach, it's also impeccably balanced. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, it nevertheless comes across as almost weightless but with amazing presence and length on the palate. If you're fortunate enough to latch onto multiple bottles, open one now to experience this legend as a young wine, then try to hide the others deep in the cellar. Best After 2022

98 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
I was able to taste the 2018 Hermitage Blanc from multiple barrels and tank, and I continue to think Jean-Louis fashions one of the greatest whites on planet earth. Gorgeous white flowers, honeysuckle, ripe quince, and toasted almond notes dominate the bouquet, and it has that rare mix of richness and opulence paired with incredible purity, freshness, and focus. It has a wealth of material yet also shows the vintage’s more rounded, sexy style. Plan on drinking bottles on release and over the following 2-4 years or hold off for a decade. It’s certainly in the same ballpark as the 2017.

97 Points - James Suckling
The thickness of the skins on Chave’s old vine parcels is what gives this wine its unrestricted depth and intensity, as well as it s ability to age for a very long time. Aromas run from very pretty and floral, through peaches and lemons and into crushed and grilled nuts. The palate is such a textural essay with an attractively youthful and pithy shunt of tannin that underwrites a considerably long finish and long cellaring potential.

97 Points - Decanter
Rich and silky, but showing no heaviness, with a touch of lemon verbena on the nose. The alcohol is high yet not unbalanced, with an inner mineral freshness leading to a rich, long and generous butterscotch finish. A big vintage for Chave's white Hermitage, though not outrageously opulent.

97 Points - Wine Spectator
Beguiling, thanks to a creamy, caressing mouthfeel that belies the definition and range that lies within. Showcases mirabelle plum, white peach, Cavaillon melon, heather, salted butter, apricot and bitter almond notes that all weave together, with flashes of jasmine, brioche and macadamia nut. The long finish sails through effortlessly, despite its obvious weight and depth. A luxurious wine. Marsanne and Roussanne.

Product size: 750ml

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