Hermitage Jl Chave 2004
Cepage: 80% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne. Style: The 2004 Hermitage blanc, which hit 15% natural alcohol, is another superb effort, continuing a succession of totally profound white Hermitages from 2003, 2004, and 2005. As many readers know, this small family producer has been making wine in Hermitage since 1481! The 2004 (about 1000 cases) reveals a light gold color, terrific finesse and elegance in spite of its enormous power, unctuosity, and richness. Of course, it is not as honeyed as the otherworldly 2003 (which hit 16% natural alcohol) but it is an amazingly full-bodied, powerful wine with pervasive honeysuckle, peach liqueur, and nectarine notes intermixed with licorice, quince, and acacia flowers. This is gorgeous wine which should evolve for 20-25 years. Serve: With simple dishes deploying first class ingredients. Vinification: Grapes are rigorously harvested by hand at optimum maturity, from four different lieu dits (L'Hermite, Peleat, Maison Blanche and Rocoules) from vines subjected to minimal treatments and short pruning. The grapes are bladder pressed before a 24 hour debourbage (setting) and the juice is then transferred to cask (1 third) and stainless steel (2 thirds) for fermentation. After alcoholic and malolactic fermentation the wine is racked clear and lightly sulphured. After the lightest of finings and 12 months (+) elevage the final assemblage (blending) takes place. The wine is then left to 'harmonise' for several weeks before a very light plate filtration and eventual bottling. History: 'De Pere en Fils Depuis 1481' is the impresssive statement that graces every bottle of this legendary wine. Gerard Chave has been making wine since 1952 and took over sole charge from his father in 1970, he has now been joined by his son Jean-Louis who has an MBA from Hartford University in the USA. The Chave's are the only non-negotiants producing world class wine in this historic appellation.
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.