Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2007
Rhone White Blends from Hermitage, Rhone, France
International Wine Cellar - "From Peleat: Peach, apricot and a wild note of botanical herbs on the nose. Deep pit fruit and melon on the palate, with tarragon and lemon emerging with air. Very good grip on the finish. From Rocoules: Very spicy, with vivid lemon and lime scents and a strong undercurrent of tangy minerals. Focused and pure, with superb depth and clarity. From Meal: Very rich, with creamy peach and floral honey character. Shows pliant pit fruit and poached pear on the palate, with a spine of zesty minerals. The Chaves call this site Petit Meal. From L' Hermite: Stunning mineral, orange and licorice aromas reminded me of a grand cru Burgundy. Fresh, energetic and focused, with pure citrus and orchard fruit flavors and excellent mineral cut. The final blend should be a knockout mix of depth and energy.
Wine Spectator - "Ripe and dense, but pure and beautifully rendered, with gorgeous mango, quince, fig and pear fruit flavors woven together and offset by quinine, paraffin and blanched almond notes. The finish just sings with fruit, minerality and a kiss of toast. Drink now through 2020. 1,244 cases made. "
The Wine Advocate - "The exuberant 2007 Hermitage Blanc reveals notes of petroleum, crushed rocks, earth, white currants and peaches, an unctuous texture, high glycerin and good acidity. This big, thick white Hermitage will not be as long lived as the 2009, but for drinking over the next two decades, it is impossible to resist. Jean-Louis and Gerard Chave opened a bottle of the 2003 Hermitage Blanc to give me an idea of how this vintage is aging. This monumental offering, which flirts with perfection, has virtually no acidity and is aging beautifully. The Chaves believe it is a repeat of what Gerard’s father made in 1929."
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Jean-Louis Chave Winery
Some experts feel that the greatest maker of Hermitage is the firm of Jean-Louis Chave. The Chave family has been growing grapes at Hermitage since 1481. They have a reputation for making good wine in poor years, and excellent wine in good ones. They use low yeilding vines (average age 60 years) and a late harvest to produce the ripest fruit, and there is virtually no intervention in the winemaking and bottling with no filtration.
There are a dozen or so named vineyards in Hermitage, and Chave owns vines in most of them. They vinify each separately, which allows them to blend for greater complexity before bottling. View all Jean-Louis Chave Wines
About HermitageView a map of Hermitage wineries (EHR-me-tahj) and Crozés-Hermitage (krohz EHR-me-tahj)
Notable FactsSyrah is the only varietal permitted in the red wines, while whites are typically blends of both Marsanne and Roussanne. All three varieties grow on the Hermitage hill. The red wines of Hermitage are powerful, age-worthy wines, often commanding prices similar to those of top Bordeaux. They are big in fruit and tight in tannins, but with a few years of age (from three years to three decades) they are beautifully complex, perfumed and sensuous. Their whites are somewhat mineral-driven, and depending on the blend, may have an almost oily texture (in a good way!).
Like the island of Manhattan, once all the land of Hermitage is gone, the land is gone – hard to create sprawl from an already established hill. So winemakers planted in the vineyards surrounding Hermitage, in the much larger and flatter appellation of Crozés-Hermitage. The area produces wines of the same make-up of Hermitage – reds from Syrah, whites from Marsanne and Roussanne. Red wines are allowed up to 15% of the white varieties. Some of the reds are full of fruit flavor and ready to drink now, while others are trying to follow Hermitage, by making wines with lots of power and longevity. The whites are few, but enjoyable with good fruit and the same texture of those from Hermitage.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.