Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2007 Front Label
Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2007 Front Label

Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2007

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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's 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.
WS 95
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.
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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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Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions. Typically some combination of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varying degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation. Somm Secret—In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common but the south retains more variety. Marsanne, Roussanne as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc are typical.

PBC9125089_2007 Item# 113211

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