Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2019  Front Label
Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2019  Front LabelJean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2019  Front Bottle Shot

Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2019

  • JD98
  • D96
  • RP95
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck
Another incredible white from this family is the 2019 Hermitage Blanc, a powerful, concentrated, and remarkably pure Hermitage that has laser-like focus as well as textbook Marsanne notes of quince, green almond, powdered rock, licorice, and spice. It’s still tight, focused, and inward at present, yet it reminds me of the 2018 with its purity and rare mix of power and elegance. It’s worth trying a bottle any time over the coming 3-5 years, but after that, I’d recommend waiting until after 2031.
D 96
Decanter
A tasting of barrel samples of different lieux-dits: Les Rocoules, Péléat and Ermite paint a picture of an exceptionally rich and opulent white Hermitage, with great textural generosity and fat, relatively low acidity and fairly high alcohol. The main problem was the speed with which the grapes were taking on sugar at the end of the season, so all the whites were picked in just two days (normally it takes five days), including a Sunday - only the second time they have done this, the previous time due to rot. An atypically large-framed vintage, that will provide plenty of succulent, rich pleasure over the years.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Chave's 2019 Hermitage Blanc delivers just the merest hint of toasted grain on the nose, accenting green peaches and waves of honeyed richness. It's full-bodied and concentrated but not overdone, with tremendous length and a hint of bitterness on the finish that left me wondering if this wine will need 20 years to show its best, or if it was still suffering a bit from being bottled in July 2021.
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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.

PRG000987_19_2019 Item# 973800

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