Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Rouge, Rhône Valley, France, 2018
Vault Wine: This wine is stored in our vault.
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.
Hermitage AOC, Rhône Valley, France
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Generally 100% destemmed, as the Hermitage is meant to be about the expression of the individual vineyards and soils and Jean-Louis believes that stems have a tendency to level out the differences. Fermentation in wood tonneaux and stainless steel tanks. Aged in barriques for 30 months.
100 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Lastly, the 2018 Hermitage is still resting in its individual components, and it’s such an education tasting through the samples from Bessards, Péléat, Méal, and Beaumes. In some years, each terroir is easy to see (the spice and complexity from Péléat, the opulence from the Méal, etc.), yet in 2018, the Méal was more structured and inward and the l’Ermite was shockingly opulent and powerful. The crème de la crème was the sample from Les Bessards, and wine doesn’t get any better than that in my opinion. Regardless, all the samples possess incredible quality and show classic, powerful aromatics reminiscent of a classic, almost cooler year paired with massive richness, depth, and structure on the palate. Possibly coming closest in my mind to a hypothetical mix of the 2009 and 2010, this is a legendary Chave Hermitage in the making.
99 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Chave's 2018 Hermitage is another in a long list of legends to emerge from this meticulously run estate. Showing remarkably complex aromas of pressed violets, ground cloves and cracked peppercorns against a backdrop of cassis, blueberries and licorice, it's a super effort. Full-bodied, concentrated, rich and velvety in feel, it's seamless and long—just the complete package in a wine that's surprisingly approachable, yet should prove capable of aging effortlessly for two decades or more. Best After 2022
97 Points - Wine Spectator
Gorgeously pure, with plum coulis, cassis, cherry purée and blackberry preserve flavors that are finely detailed and interwoven with singed anise, sweet tobacco and warm earth accents, then gilded with a subtle alder note through the finish. Long, very fine-grained and extremely precise. Best from 2024.
Product size: 750ml
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