Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2016  Front Label
Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2016  Front LabelJean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2016  Front Bottle Shot

Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2016

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  • RP98
  • WS98
  • D96
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

The 2016 vintage is redolent with white flowers and honeysuckle. Increased acidity for the vintage results in a taut structure and incredible length. Notes of orangeblossom and lemon curd.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 100
Jeb Dunnuck
There's not much of the 2016 Hermitage Blanc to go around due to hail in the springtime, yet the resulting wine is another magical effort from this domaine. Bottled in August, it opens up with a fabulous blast of quince, white flowers, buttered citrus, licorice, and exotic spices. These all carry over to the palate, where the wine is full-bodied, rounded, and incredibly sexy, with a layered, mouthfilling texture. It doesn't have the sheer weight of the 2009 and 2010, but is deep, opulent, with plenty of fat and glycerin, and straight-up awesome purity of fruit. If you're lucky enough to have more than one bottle, it's an incredible drink today and should continue to shine for another 2-3 years. After that, I'd hold off for a good 6-7 years or more.
V 99
Vinous
#1) Rocoules: vibrant and sharply focused, showing intense pear, tangerine and floral character with a potent mineral overtone. Taut and linear but puts on weight with air. Sweeter on the back end, which leaves suave peach and pear nectar notes behind. #2) Peleat: fresh melon and peach qualities underscored by spicy ginger and smoky mineral notes. Juicy and focused, creating a superb interplay of weight and nerviness. #3) L'Ermite: highly energetic and mineral-driven, showing deeply concentrated citrus and pit fruit qualities and a sexy floral accent. Becomes spicier on the back half and shows outstanding delineation and floral lift. At this stage I'd call this wine the equal of the unreal 2015 and I wouldn't be surprised if I preferred the final wine, assuming it maintains its uncanny blend of depth and minerally cut.
Range: 97-99
RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Bottled in August, Chave's 2016 Hermitage Blanc is a tremendous wine. It's a bit closed on the nose (bottle shock?), but it wows on the palate, rocking it with seismic waves of super ripe pineapple and melon fruit and more than a small dose of what I can only describe as magma-like essence of stone. It's full-bodied and mouthfilling in its richness, yet it never seems heavy or overdone. Remember that yields were constrained by hail, so don't delay in procuring whatever your budget will allow.
WS 98
Wine Spectator

Remarkably concentrated yet poised, with acacia and honeysuckle notes leading the way for a core of creamed melon, quince, mirabelle plum and white nectarine flavors. The long brioche- and salted butter–fueled finish shows terrific cut for a wine of this weight, ending with a lingering beeswax hint. A stunner. Marsanne and Roussanne. Best from 2022 through 2045.

D 96
Decanter
A tasting of component lieu-dits of L’Ermite, Les Roucoules and Péléat, revealing a potentially superb wine despite the tiny yields this year. The Ermite component is a little fatter than in most years, with good acidity and minerality. Roucoules too has a fleshy character this year, and Péléat supplies ample perfumed freshness. Around 20% new oak.
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Jean-Louis Chave

Jean-Louis Chave

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Jean-Louis Chave , France
Jean-Louis Chave  Winery Image

Going back to 1481, when the first Jean-Louis Chave was gifted a vineyard in St Joseph by the nobleman Farconnet, 25 generations have farmed some of the best parcels in the Northern Rhône. Though now known as perhaps the best producer of Hermitage (and certainly among the best blenders in the world), the family only expanded to this famous hill during the mid-1800s wave of phylloxera that decimated Europe's vineyards. 

In the 1970s, when Gerard Chave took over from his father, the domaine rapidly achieved megastar status due to the extraordinary quality of his wines. Gerard's son Jean-Louis (25th of his name) now oversees the estate and has shown an ever expanding dedication to improving the already stunning quality of these rare wines. Jean-Louis Chave regularly dedicates the domaine to intense and exacting projects, the benefits of which will be seen by future generations. Indeed, the estate employs three full time stonemasons just to repair the traditional stone walls dotting the vineyards. 

Since the 1990s, Jean-Louis Chave has offered a second label known as 'J.L. Chave Sélection' that provides a glimpse of the reason for the estate's fame at a fraction of the price. Many of these wines are from declassified estate wine and long term farming contracts, and are vinified in the domaine's primary cellar in Mauves. 

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Hermitage Wine

Rhone, France

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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.

FRMFW65111_2016 Item# 526780

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