As to the reds, the 2015 Hermitage looks to be about as profound as they come. As usual, I’m able to taste the different components, and while the differences in each sample were striking, the quality wasn’t; each sample showed full-bodied richness, gorgeous concentration, ripe tannin, and impeccable purity. Possessing a sexy, voluptuous style, it’s a hypothetical mix of the 2009 and 2010.
One of my favorite visits during my trip through the Northern Rhône is with Jean-Louis Chave and Family. This iconic estate continues to produce reference point wines from Hermitage and more and more St Joseph, where Jean-Louis has spent an incredible amount of time and effort over the past decade or more. Looking at the vintages reviewed here, the 2015s were all tasted from barrel and are spectacular wines. Both Gérard and Jean-Louis compared this vintage to a mix of 2009 and 2010, and when I asked if there were any similarities to 1990, both commented that the tannins in 2015 were more ripe and supple. I suspect that 2015 will slot in among 1990, 2003, 2009, and 2010 as one of the greatest wines from the estate, and readers owe it to themselves to have at least a few bottles in the cellar. As to the St Josephs, the quality continues to soar, and the big question will be if they decide to release single-vineyard cuvées. I sincerely hope they do, as these two vineyards (Beshesson, located north of St-Jean-de-Muzols and Le Clos, located just south of Mauves) are singular beauties that I’d love readers to taste. 97-100 WA
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