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Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 1983

Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Rhone, France
  • JS97
  • WS93
0% ABV
  • RP100
  • JD100
  • WS98
  • JS97
  • RP96
  • WS96
  • RP97
  • WS95
  • RP96
  • WS95
  • RP100
  • WS99
  • RP100
  • WS98
  • WS94
  • RP90
  • WS95
  • RP95
  • RP96
  • WS95
  • WS98
  • RP95
  • WS95
  • RP94
  • WS95
  • RP95
  • RP96
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  • RP95
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • RP92
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Currently Unavailable $429.97
Try the 1998 Vintage 559 97
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JS 97
James Suckling
As I come back from a few weeks of travel around France, I’m revisiting this wine here from the Rhone. I enjoyed it a few months ago in Hong Kong with a few friends, and it was simply outstanding. It showed spices, herbs and dark berries on the nose. On the palate it was so juicy and full-bodied with fine tannins. It culminated with a super long finish.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Chave has always loved the 1983 (a sentiment I share, but the tannin in the wine is worrisome). It seems to me that his 1983 has the potential to be super, but it still remains charmless and austere. Deep dark ruby in color with some amber at the edge, it has a profound concentration of ripe, smoky, berry fruit and Asian spices, full body, exceptional depth and length, as well as a formidable tannin level. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2025.
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Jean-Louis Chave

Jean-Louis Chave

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Jean-Louis Chave , Hermitage, Rhone, 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.

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.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by 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.

LSB211706_1983 Item# 211706