- Domaine Jean-Louis Chave
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Robert Parker, April 2002,
Wine Advocate #140 (Apr 2002) Robert Parker 94 points Drink 2002-2022The 1999 Hermitage blanc is a glorious effort. It is a 1,000-case blend of 80% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne, all from Les Rocoules, Maison Blanche, l'Ermite, and Peleat. It is an oily, unctuously-textured wine with low acidity, fabulous, concentrated, honeysuckle, citrus, liquid mineral, and acacia flower-like flavors. The finish lasts for nearly 45 seconds. It will be gorgeous young, but evolve for two decades or more. When I arrived at 6:00 p.m., September 11, 2001, at Domaine Chave, I found Chave in tears and his family distraught. I had heard about the attacks on the World Trade Center, but not the subsequent collapse of both towers. Gerard Chave knows all about suicidal bombers, having served in the French military during the Algerian revolution. It took a long time to gather sufficient focus to do my tastings. However, the brilliant wines that unfolded in the cellars were, at least for several hours, a much needed antidote for pushing to the back of my mind the horror of 9-11-01.
Domaine Jean-Louis Chave
No other name in Hermitage is more famous than Jean-Louis Chave's. His family have been winemakersin the northern Rhône Valley since 1481 and have left their trademark by producing year-in and year-out some of the most exemplary, profound wines in the northern Rhône. His Hermitages are particularly noteworthy and are considered by many as the best of the appellation. They are true pinnacles of power though they remain focused, elegant and pure.
Hermitage is a region that produces both red and white wines. Its famous red is made from 100% Syrah while the white is produced from Marsanne and/or Roussanne. A sweeter and very rare white wine is also produced from grapes that have been dried on straw before being pressed. A slighter warmer micro-climate enables Hermitage's red wines to have more ripeness and structure than Côte Rôtie which adds additional power and longevity. As a result, they are usually the most ‘masculine' styled reds in all of the northern Rhône.