Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2013 Front Label
Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2013 Front LabelJean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2013 Front Bottle Shot

Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2013

  • RP97
  • WS97
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Jean-Louis Chave and his father believe that the rich variety of terroirs to be found on the hill are vital in blending a wine which has all of the features they desire, including finesse, structure and complexity.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Chave's 2013 Hermitage Blanc had just been bottled prior to my visit. Always 80% to 85% Marsanne and the rest Roussanne, from the lieux-dits of Rocoules, Peleat, L'Hermite and Maison Blanche, it's raised primarily in barrels with a small percentage new. Loaded with notions of buttered citrus, white currants, liquid rock, white flowers and hints of honeysuckle, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, beautiful freshness and purity, and a focused, clean, elegant profile that keeps you coming back to the glass. It lacks the sheer wealth of material found in blockbuster years like 2009 and 2003, yet is perfectly balanced, has loads of richness and a great finish. Give it a year or two and enjoy bottles over the following two decades.
WS 97
Wine Spectator
Acacia, orange blossom, white peach and fresh ginger notes lead the way, followed by waves of honeysuckle, Jonagold apple, chamomile and lightly toasted macadamia nut flavors. The finish combines weight, purity, fruit and minerality as a quinine accent echoes. Best from 2018 through 2035.
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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.

FRMHERMW_2013 Item# 158837

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