Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 2006

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wa
96
ws
95
The granite hills of Hermitage rise above the Rhone at Tain l'Hermitage where the river bends sharply to the east before resuming a southward flow. This gives the vineyards a direct southern exposure. Vines have been grown here since Roman times, and Pliney wrote favorably about the wines of the region. The locals claim that vines were first planted here by Phocaean Greeks around 500 BC. Although the evidence is not conclusive, Greek coins and amphorae dating back to 500 BC have been found in the area. Some experts feel that the greatest maker of Hermitage is the firm of Jean-Louis Chave. The Chave family has been growing grapes at Hermitage since 1481. They have a reputation for making good wine in poor years, and excellent wine in good ones. They use low yeilding vines (average age 60 years) and a late harvest to produce the ripest fruit, and there is virtually no intervention in the winemaking and bottling with no filtration.
Category Red Wine
Varietal
Country France
Region Rhone
Appellation Hermitage
Brand Domaine Jean-Louis Chave
  • wa96

Wine AdvocateSuperior to the 2007, the 2006 Hermitage reminds me of Chave's brilliant 1991. An incredibly subtle perfume of black raspberries, creme de cassis, camphor, and acacia flowers is followed by an elegant, concentrated wine with beautifully integrated acidity, tannin, wood, and alcohol. This seamless, gorgeously-proportioned, large-framed wine represents the definition of finesse, elegance, and terroir. It will be drinkable in several years, and should last for 20-25 years.

Robert Parker, April 2009
  • ws95

Wine SpectatorOffers a remarkable combination of density and elegance, with a loamy, cocoa-driven backdrop to the crushed plum, black cherry, incense and iron notes. Long, silky tannins carry everything through the precise, mouthwatering finish. No skipping a beat here. Best from 2010 through 2021.

James Molesworth, September 30, 2009