Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 2001
The Chave family have been involved in wine making in the northern Rhone valley since 1481. Jean-Louis Chave is the current boss and an exponent of organic viticulture.The Domaine is mainly in Hermitage but also operates as a negociant in other AOC's although he has bought some plots inb Saint-Joseph.
Perfectly, well perfect. A wine with a long life ahead of itself, and one that will not disappoint any Rhone lover.
External Reviews for Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage
The 1998 Hermitage is the greatest wine produced at Chave since their 1990. That's saying something given how exquisite both cuvées of 1995 and 1991 turned out. Every cuvee of 1998 Hermitage - Peleat, L'Ermite, Meal, Rocoules, Les Beaumes, and Les Bessards - was tiping the scales in the mid-ninety point range. It is a large-scaled, dense purple-colored Hermitage with sweet tannin, fabulous concentration, and superb power and length. It will require 5-10 years of cellaring, and will keep for three decades or more. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2030. Think of it as a 1995, but with sweeter tannin and slightly lower acidity. As a postscript, I fully expect the Chaves to cull out a portion of this wine for their luxury cuvée called Cathelin, previously produced only in 1995, 1991 and 1990.
The dense, saturated, purple-colored 1999 Hermitage had been bottled only 24 hours before my visit. It is a brilliant effort. The wine exhibits fabulous texture, purity, and sweetness as well as a finish that lasts for nearly a minute. There is high tannin, remarkably rich, concentrated extract, and tell-tale Hermitage fruit characteristics (blackberries, cassis), minerals, and spice. This is the greatest vintage Chave has produced since 1990. While it requires 7-10 years of cellaring, it will last for 4-5 decades.
Chave's 2000 Hermitage is a strong candidate for the wine of the vintage. The brutal crop thinning as well as selection process in the cellars has resulted in a wine that transcends the vintage's character. Most 2000 northern Rhones reveal flavor superficiality because of excessive yields, which caused a lack of depth as well as concentration (in spite of the fact that they are charming, ripe, and low in acidity). Chave's 2000 Hermitage is a tour de force. Tasting through the component parts is a lesson in the differences in Hermitage's terroirs. Moreover, the blend is always better than its individual parts. This profound Hermitage boasts a saturated blue/black/purple color as well as gorgeous aromas of liquid minerality intermixed with creme de cassis and graphite. It is full-bodied, with low acidity, high tannin, and sensational extract and length. This is a fabulous Hermitage that combines extraordinary power, flesh, and succulence with remarkable freshness and delineation. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2040.
Rich and ripe, full-bodied, with great sweet fruit character. Lovely, thick, attractive (almost like a dessert wine), with mineral but also plum character, blackberries, fresh figs, smoke and toasted notes. Kicks in with good intensity on the finish. Drink now through 2010.
A brute right now, with a wall of bacony, coffee-tinged toast separating you from the core of blackberry and raspberry fruit. Great richness and texture, though, with notes of tar, minerals, saddle leather and cocoa rippling through the finish. Mouthwatering acidity balances it all out. Best from 2007 through 2020.
Tasting through the component parts of the 2001 Hermitage reveals what should be an outstanding wine with a Burgundian-like finesse. The most elegant component emanates from Les Beaumes and Pelia, and the denser, thicker wines from Meal, l'Ermite, and Bessards. The wine will possess a dense ruby/purple color in addition to plenty of sweet cassis fruit, medium body, noticeably high tannin, and gorgeous purity as well as symmetry. It will be built along the lines of the 1996 rather than the 2000 or 1999.
Opens with a vibrant berry, chocolate, Asian-spice, rosemary, olive and bacon-fat nose so good you linger before tasting. Sour cherry, licorice, brush, leather and a meaty note show on the palate. The wine is lean yet velvety, with powerful, deep structure. It closes with full, ripe tannins. notes of black tea and pepper. Cellar this keeper until 2004, drink through 2015+.