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The Chave family has been growing wine in the Northern Rhone since 1481. Jean-Louis joined his father in 1992 and currently represents 16 generations of unbroken lineage committed to the production of some of the finest Syrah, Marsanne, and Roussanne on the planet! The Key to these long-lived wines of great purity, elegance, power, and finesse, is the family's winemaking pedigree and remarkable blending skills. The Chave family has never released a single vineyard or cru Hermitage instead cultivates the perfect blend of vineyards crafting the most prodigious Syrah wine in the world, year after year.
“The Chave line ... could make a fair claim to be France’s winemaking royal family: in no other of France’s great terroirs is the largest individual landholder so deeply rooted in time and place, so supremely competent, and so modest a custodian of the insights and craftsmanship of the past.” ~ Andrew Jefford, The New France
The Chave’s methods for all their winemaking are traditional farming, super low yields (focused on quality), full ripeness, and minimal manipulation. Their unmatched meticulousness continues through five centuries to render venerable expressions of the purest of Rhône terroir! Chave's family talents passed down from generation to generation allows them to produced unmatched wines in even the most difficult vintages. As the largest landowner on the hill of Hermitage, the Chave family's consistency and commitment to crafting the world's finest Syrah has been unmatched over five centuries.
The grapes come from 3 distinctive parts of the Hermitage hill. The majority of the blend comes from Diognières, which is at the base of the hill on alluvial soil with many small pebbles. It lends a note of spice to the wine. The next parcel is Péleat. It sits above Diognières and is composed of more sand and limestone in the clay. It gives finesse to the wine. And finally, Greffieux sits at the base of Le Méal on the hill. Its soil consists of rolled river stones brought by the glaciers. It brings structure to the finished wine.
Aging: 18-24 months in French barriques.
Tasting Notes: 100% Syrah. Immensely complex on the nose, red fruits, dark chocolate, cassis, toasted spices, cured meat, fresh cracked pepper, and turned earth light up the senses. The palate is concentrated, deeply complex, and full of plush red fruits. The elegance of this wine is unmatched with firm acidity, fine tannins, and a finish that goes on for minutes.
Saturated ruby. Mineral- and spice-accented aromas of fresh dark berries, licorice, and candied violet show excellent delineation, clarity and lift. At once rich and energetic in the mouth, offering juicy black raspberry, cherry, and spice cake flavors that steadily deepen on the back half. Turns sweeter on the persistent, penetrating finish, which features well-knit tannins and lingering floral and exotic spice notes. This is quite graceful, and while it will no doubt reward patience, it's awfully easy to drink now. ~94 Vinous Media
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