Delas Hermitage Les Bessards 2006
Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Rhone, France
Wine Style Guide
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
Alcohol By Volume: 14.0%
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
This unique cuvée illustrates the enormous potential of this incomparable vineyard. The wine has a deep red color. The nose is aromatic with scents of berries, currants and violets. Les Bessards is rich in the mouth with bold, yet silky tannins and concentrated black cherry/plum fruit. It's an exceptional wine with a firm structure that will benefit from long cellaring.
"The limited production blockbuster 2006 Hermitage Les Bessards is exquisite. Opaque inky/purple-colored with a stunning perfume of white chocolate, creme de cassis, incense, and camphor, this 2006 possesses fabulous fruit, full-bodied power, awesome concentration, and sweet, noble tannins. A classic in the making, it will be drinkable in 8-10 years, and should keep for half a century.
In the late 1990s, as the quality of one of the northern Rhone's most well-known negociant firms, Paul Jaboulet-Aine, was beginning to decline, the quality of Delas Freres was soaring, and they are now one of the three top negociant firms in the Rhone Valley. Delas Freres has been the property of Champagne Deutz since 1996, and belongs to the same owners as Champagne Louis Roederer. The owners as well as the Directeur Technique, the brilliant Jacques Grange, and winemaker Jean-Francois Farinet deserve credit for the rise in quality at this operation. The Delas Freres wines continue to go from strength to strength, and while I believe the Jaboulet wines will return to form under the new ownership, Delas Freres is already there. The current portfolio includes strong 2006s and very good 2007s. As long-time readers know, there is a hierarchy to the Delas wines from Crozes-Hermitage, St.-Joseph, Hermitage, and Cote Rotie. The finest values come from Crozes-Hermitage (especially their lower level cuvees, Les Launes and Domaine des Grands Chemins), and from St.-Joseph (Les Challeys). The quality jumps dramatically with the Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos, St.-Joseph Francois de Tournon, and the luxury cuvee, the St.-Joseph Ste.-Epine. In top vintages, there are two offerings from Cote Rotie, the single vineyard La Landonne and the Seigneur de Maugiron. Both cuvees were produced in 2006, but only the Seigneur de Maugiron was made in 2007 (because of the hail storm that destroyed a large percentage of the crop in Cote Rotie). Delas Freres owns 25 acres in Hermitage, from which they produce two cuvees, with Les Bessards only made in the top vintages.
The Wine Advocate
"Plush and smoky, with bacon, braised fig, tobacco and loam notes wrapped around a core of crushed black currant fruit. Shows some muscle on the finish, with sanguine and coffee notes weaving in and out. Drink now through 2018. 157 cases imported. "
"Inky purple. Intensely perfumed nose displays a seductive bouquet of candied red and dark berries, kirsch, violet and minerals, plus a strong jolt of smoked meat. Spherical dark fruit flavors stain the palate, showing no rough edges and a slow-mounting floral pastille quality. Fresh, nervy and precise, with excellent finishing lift and precision. Manages to be powerful and graceful at the same time."
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Learn About Delas Map It
Founded over 160 years ago, Delas Freres was acquired by Champagne Deutz in 1977.
Delas Freres cultivates vineyards on the steep granite slopes of the northern Rhone, in some of the
region's most prestigious appellations. Additional grapes are supplied through long-term agreements
with southern Rhone growers dedicated to providing only top quality grapes.Crafted by winemaker...
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Learn About Hermitage
(EHR-me-tahj) and Crozés-Hermitage (krohz EHR-me-tahj)
The hill of Hermitage is something to be seen. It is a hill (just one hill) of only about 300 acres, with carefully terraced vines in granite based-soil. The soils of the hill are plotted to make sure that the best variety is planted in the best plot of soil, and the wines reflect those decisions. The hill is...
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Learn About Syrah/Shiraz
(seh-RAH/shee-RAHZ) It's a Smokin' Grape Syrah and Shiraz - same grape, different name. It's a popular and adept variety, growing in multiple regions and creating many different styles of wine. The home base of Syrah is the Northern Rhone, where it creates the exclusive wines of Hermitage and Cote Rotie. On the less pricy side, the Rhone makes Syrah-based wines in Crozes...
Read More About Syrah/Shiraz