2020 J-L Chave Saint-Joseph “Offerus”, Rhone Valley, France
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ABOUT THIS WINE
The vineyards used for Offerus are located in two distinct St. Joseph areas. The communities of Mauves, Tournon, and St. Jean de Muzols yield over 80% of the blend and are owned by Jean-Louis. These southern vineyard sites express tightly wound tannins, spice, and power. They add structure and depth to complete the harmony of Offerus. The remaining vineyards are located in more northerly communities around Serrières, and even these are farmed mainly by Jean-Louis, though he doesn’t own the vineyards. This soil produces wines which are more elegant with incredible purity, definition, and focus.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Going back to 1481, when the first Jean-Louis Chave was gifted a vineyard in St Joseph by the nobleman Farconnet, 25 generations have farmed some of the best parcels in the Northern Rhône. Though now known as perhaps the best producer of Hermitage (and certainly among the best blenders in the world), the family only expanded to this famous hill during the mid-1800s wave of phylloxera that decimated Europe's vineyards.
In the 1970s, when Gerard Chave took over from his father, the domaine rapidly achieved megastar status due to the extraordinary quality of his wines. Gerard's son Jean-Louis (25th of his name) now oversees the estate and has shown an ever expanding dedication to improving the already stunning quality of these rare wines. Jean-Louis Chave regularly dedicates the domaine to intense and exacting projects, the benefits of which will be seen by future generations. Indeed, the estate employs three full time stonemasons just to repair the traditional stone walls dotting the vineyards.
Since the 1990s, Jean-Louis Chave has offered a second label known as 'J.L. Chave Sélection' that provides a glimpse of the reason for the estate's fame at a fraction of the price. Many of these wines are from declassified estate wine and long term farming contracts, and are vinified in the domaine's primary cellar in Mauves.