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Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015

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1500ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker 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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

After tasting several intermediate blends that will ultimately be combined in some proportion to create the 2015 Hermitage, I would not be surprised to see the final result achieve perfection. Although massively ripe and concentrated, there is still a feeling of balance and elegance in the wines that I fully expect to carry over into the final product. As the blending process isn’t complete, Jean-Louis warned that it was too early to say if there would be a Cuvée Cathelin, which is typically an outstanding parcel that, for some reason, doesn’t work in the rest of the blend. 

Range: 98-100

JD 100
Jeb Dunnuck

Not yet bottled, the 2015 Hermitage has perfection written all over it and reminds me of the 2010. Graphite, charcoal, liquid rock, and sensationally pure crème de cassis notes all soar from the glass of this full-bodied, concentrated, opulent 2015. This is a big, sexy beast of a Hermitage, yet it has the classic minerality, purity, and balance shown by just about every wine made from this estate. Forget bottles for 4-5 years, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following 4-5 decades.

Range: 98-100

WS 98
Wine Spectator

This delivers a broad swath of gently mulled blackberry, plum and boysenberry fruit flavors, inlaid deeply and seamlessly with anise, roasted apple wood, graphite and black tea notes. A mouthwatering mineral edge harnesses everything, adding refinement and cut. The extremely long finish has a wonderful sense of fine detail. Best from 2020 through 2040.

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Jean-Louis Chave

Jean-Louis Chave

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Jean-Louis Chave , France
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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.

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Hermitage

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One of the smallest and most important Syrah regions of northern Rhone, Hermitage is practically one single south-facing slope of crushed granite, thinly covered with varied, yet well-charted soil types. Many climats (well identified parcels) exist within Hermitage and while some smaller producers make single climat Syrahs, some larger ones blend to make one balanced expression of the appellation.

Though the AC regulations allow the addition of up to 15% white grapes to a red Hermitage, in practice it is usually made from Syrah alone. Winemaking is pretty traditional—or you might say historic—with hot fermentations and aging in older barrels of various sizes. The best wines, characterized by deep, dense and sexy flavors of black fruit, cocoa, licorice and tobacco, have massive textures and a solid 10-20 years aging potential.

The region of Hermitage is totally enclosed; the only place it could go really is to literally fall down its own hill into the city of Tain or the Rhone River. Soil erosion is a problem and terraces exist alongside the hill in order to keep the earth in place. Crozes-Hermitage encloses the region entirely to its north and south.

While Hermitage seems synonymous with some of the best Syrah on the planet, actually about one third of the wine produced here comes from white grapes. The full, lush and robust Marsanne or the less common, but almost more charming, Roussanne create wonderful whites in which the best have great potential for aging, like the reds.

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Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

PRG0009861515L_2015 Item# 517519