2018 Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc, Rhone Valley, France
ABOUT THIS WINE:
The grapes are hand-picked when fully ripe (but not overripe). They are immediately bladder-pressed, and settled for at least 24 hours, chilled if necessary. Fermentation is one third in cask, two thirds in stainless steel, at 20°C to maximise glycerol extraction. After malolactic conversion, the young wines are racked off the lees, but excess fining is avoided, as it strips the wine of 'gras'. Ageing lasts around 18 months, in cask or tank, depending on the particular character of each lot. New oak is avoided, except to replace damaged or leaking barrels. After blending, the wine is left to mature, and then lightly filtered (by gravity) before bottling.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER:
Jean-Louis Chave is one of the top producers in the Rhone Valley and we are always excited to feature his wines on our shelves!
Wine growers in the northern Rhône since 1481, the Chave family (currently helmed by Gérard and son Jean-Louis) represents 16 generations of unbroken lineage committed to the production of some of the finest Syrah, Marsanne, and Roussanne on the planet. Jean Louis joined his father in 1992 after completing undergraduate studies at University of Connecticut and a degree in oenology at Davis. It was at that time that he completely replanted vineyards on the family’s original estate in Saint-Joseph, which had been abandoned in the early 1900’s when phylloxera hit the region.
The key to perfect balance in Chave’s Hermitage is in their remarkable blending skill, which begins again every season. Many hours of thought, insight, and conversation go into the final component blend for Hermitage. Never once has the Chave family released a single vineyard or cru Hermitage. While percentages vary from year to year, the constant backbone of Hermitage Rouge is Syrah from Bessards Vineyard with its steep, granitic slopes. Similarly with the Blanc, the components vary, however the base is made from old vines Marsanne from their Péléat vineyard. Some Roussanne is also added to the final blend.