I haven’t tried a lot of JL Chave, but every drop of it I’ve savoured as it is truly awe-inspiring. I shared a bottle of this wine with a friend recently and I just didn’t want it to end. It is not an overt wine, it is subtle and shy. As we sat and enjoyed it over an evening the nuances, and layers showed up. This is a savoury, nutty, flinty wine. There are white and yellow fruits underneath. But the earthy, creamy, caramel notes are at the fore. The palate is silken, the structure keeps it tight and moreish. There is so much going on both on the nose and the palate that this JL Chave (well, all of them really!) deserves attention and time. I would not put this in a lineup except with other JL Chave Hermitage Blanc.
When will this wine reach its peak? Lets drink a bottle every year and find out. It is the only fair way to find out for sure.
The JL Chave Hermitage Blanc is generally a blend of 80% Marsanne and the balance Roussanne, which reflects the vineyard break-up. JL Chave raise the wine in 33% oak and the balance in tank. Following this is 18 months of aging in a combination of new oak, old oak, and stainless steel tank.
JL Chave Hermitage Blanc 2014 is a bold wine full of flavour and complexity. It is drinking well from now but will evolve for another decade.
JL Chave Hermitage Blanc 2014, and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.
The JL Chave family have been growing grapes on the hill of Hermitage since 1865 and growing grapes since 1481. Today they make the best Hermitage so long as you let them age. The family own 14 hectares in the famous lieu dits of Hermitage. 10 hectares are Syrah at an average of 50 years old. The remaining area is 80% Marsanne, 20% Roussanne, which averages well over 60 years. They only make 2 reds and one white from their holdings. They have added a “Selection” range as the negociant arm of the JL Chave family and allow for more quantity to be made and, therefore, more affordable wines. No quality is sacrificed, though; this still has to carry the JL Chave name after all.
JL Chave Hermitage Blanc 2014 Wine Review
“Outer quote mark Honeysuckle, verbena and chamomile aromas stream out first, followed by a remarkably creamy core of yellow apple, white peach, heather honey and warm mirabelle plum notes. Hazelnut oil and brioche line the finish, adding considerable length. Despite all the lushness and depth, this manages to maintain a sense of tension and precision as well. Amazing wine. (JM) 10/2017.“
The hill of Hermitage may a well be the centre of the world for Shiraz lovers. Sure the Cote Rotie gets more attention. But the dense, dark, brooding and aromatic Shiraz from this hill that slowly evolves to become a pretty, lifted, melange of fruits is well worth your time and patience. Don’t underestimate the whites from Hermitage either; the blend of Marsanne and Roussanne is a powerful combination, and on the Hill of Hermitage, the whites can equally Grand Cru Burgundy.
Marsanne is a white variety from the Rhone Valley. Marsanne offers honeysuckle, florals and a streak of acid. It is often the backbone of a blend with Viognier and/or Roussanne. Marsanne ages incredibly well and, after 5-10 years, is a wine that is as complex and appealing as any other white wine you’ll find.
One of the grapes, along with Marsanne, that adds texture, structure and sobriety to the Rhone Valley’s ostentatious Viognier. Without their flamboyant partner, the wines tend to be rich, understated, but very well balanced. In the right hands, there is amazing perfume and fruit to be coaxed out.
One of the great wine regions in the world. Situated along the Rhone river in South-East France, there is a distinct divide between the Syrah dominant North where the Mistral wind cools and regulates the temperature and the hot lands in the South where Grenache is at its peak. The region produces everything from easy-going quaffers to wines that demand long-term cellaring. Whites can be outstanding such as Viognier made in Condrieu, and Rosé makes a fair impression too.
The land that so many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wine. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is pretty special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product. This includes the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. This is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.