Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2018  Front Label
Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2018  Front LabelJean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2018

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  • JS97
  • RP97
  • V97
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Predominantly Marsanne with around 20% Roussanne, the Hermitage Blanc is a blend from several different vineyards: Rocoules, Hermite, Péléat, and Maison Blanche. Each vineyard has a distinctive geological profile and as a result each plays a particular role in the overall expression of the wine.The wine is fermented entirely in mostly neutral oak barrels and ages in oak for two years before release.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck
I was able to taste the 2018 Hermitage Blanc from multiple barrels and tank, and I continue to think Jean-Louis fashions one of the greatest whites on planet earth. Gorgeous white flowers, honeysuckle, ripe quince, and toasted almond notes dominate the bouquet, and it has that rare mix of richness and opulence paired with incredible purity, freshness, and focus. It has a wealth of material yet also shows the vintage’s more rounded, sexy style. Plan on drinking bottles on release and over the following 2-4 years or hold off for a decade. It’s certainly in the same ballpark as the 2017.
Range: 96-98
JS 97
James Suckling
The thickness of the skins on Chave’s old vine parcels is what gives this wine its unrestricted depth and intensity, as well as it s ability to age for a very long time. Aromas run from very pretty and floral, through peaches and lemons and into crushed and grilled nuts. The palate is such a textural essay with an attractively youthful and pithy shunt of tannin that underwrites a considerably long finish and long cellaring potential.
Range: 96-97
RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 Hermitage Blanc was still in its various components, so my rating and description is something of a composite, based on barrel-tasting lots from Péléat, Les Rocoules and L'Ermite. There's incredible weight, ripeness and richness throughout, with hints of toast and crocuses accenting white peach, melon and pineapple fruit, yet also a sense of vibrance and briny freshness on the lengthy finishes.
Range: 95-97
V 97
Vinous
Tasted in components. #1) Rocoules Haut: A touch of iodine, smoky, mineral-accented orchard and pit fruits on the nose and palate. Chewy and precise, with no excess fat and a building mineral flourish. #2) Rocoules mid-slope: Taut and energetic in style, showing very good depth to its juicy Anjou pear, yellow apple and honeysuckle flavors. Plays richness off of energy with a steady hand. #3) Rocoules Bas: Nectarine, honey and floral qualities are sharpened by a suggestion of orange zest. Weighty yet precise, with a jolt of minerality adding back-end grip. #4) Peleat: Lively and precise, offering intense citrus, orchard fruit flavors, building iodine and smoky mineral nuances. Very long and tight, with a sexy floral nuance emerging steadily. #5) Peleat old vines: Deeply perfumed pear nectar and orange marmalade qualities on the nose and palate. Becomes livelier with a bit of air and shows fine delineation on the back half. These vines are at least 120 years old, Jean-Louis Chave told me. #6) Ermite: Emphatically mineral and precise on the nose, displaying vibrant Meyer lemon, white peach and floral qualities and a strong mineral overtone. Chewy and tightly wound, with superb depth, serious closing energy and repeating florality.
Range: 96-97
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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.

PRG00098618_2018 Item# 780074

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