Named after Bacchus’s drunken father-in-law. 70% of the fruit comes from Domaine plantings situated on the east-facing rear flank of Hermitage. It is granite mixed with the clay, on a steep hillside. In the glass you get pepper, currants, a hint of funk. There is lean acid and elegance. I like this wine and feel it’ll be better in 5 years and better still in 10.
The Chave family have been growing grapes on the hill of Hermitage since 1481. The family own parcels in a most of the famous lieu dits of Hermitage. Each year they make some of if not the best wines of Hermitage. The Selection range is the negociant arm of the 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 Chave name after all.
Rhone Valley – 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.
Crozes Hermitage – Not instantly as recognisable or as loved as fellow Northern Rhone appellations like Cote Rotie, Saint Joseph or Hermitage. But as John Livingstone-Learmonth says “terroir is alive and well at Crozes-Hermitage!”. A huge variation in geology as well as grower outlook means the wines are anything from lean, mineral and taut to Barossa style Syrah. There is a handful of fantastic quality wines that rival anything in the Rhone. The next tier down offer great quality and even better value.
Shiraz/Syrah – A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on terroir and/or wine maker influence. The Syrah based wines of Northern Rhone are dry and austere while the Shiraz of Barossa is rich and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.