Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 2005 Front Label
Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 2005 Front Label

Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 2005

  • WS98
  • RP95
750ML / 0% ABV
Other Vintages
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  • JS98
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  • RP96
  • WS95
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  • WS99
  • RP100
  • WS98
  • WS94
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  • RP95
  • RP96
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  • WS95
  • RP94
  • WS95
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  • WS95
  • RP95
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Winemaker Notes

A portion of the red Hermitage is vinified in open-topped wooden casks and punched down manually twice a day. The other portion is vinified in stainless steel tanks also with manual punch down twice daily.

At the end of 18 months of élevage, the wine is blended to unite the qualities of each parcel, and in order to express the essence of Hermitage. The final blend of each wine is a combination of seven different terroirs. After the final blend is completed, the wines are bottled without filtration.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 98
Wine Spectator
Really packed, but amazingly supple and velvety in texture, with layer upon layer of black mission fig, crushed plum, freshly brewed espresso, worn saddle leather and iron notes all driving through the long, long finish. The structure is well-integrated already, but this has a long life ahead of it. Best from 2009 through 2030. 1,800 cases made.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made in a totally different style, the masculine, backward 2005 Hermitage exhibits an inky/dark ruby/purple color along with aromas of graphite, creme de cassis, licorice, roasted herbs, and scorched earth. The minerality and tannins dominate this gamy, thick, rich 2005, which, given its tannic structure, is closest in style to a vintage such as 1995 or 1998. Give it 7-10 more years of cellaring, and drink it over the following three decades.
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Jean-Louis Chave

Jean-Louis Chave

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Jean-Louis Chave , France
Jean-Louis Chave  Winery Image
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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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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Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Blends of Southern Rhône, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”

DOB101330_2005 Item# 101330

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