Chave.jpg

Jean-Louis Chave: The Importance

Described by Robert Parker as “the model estate for a family-owned vineyard – a great family, a great domaine, a great terroir, and great wines”, the domaine of Jean-Louis Chave continues to produce arguably the finest and most complex wines of all the northern Rhône appellation. The domaine is currently helmed by father and son team Gérard and Jean-Louis and praise has been heaped on the family for the quality of their winemaking and their dedication to tradition. Andrew Jefford writes: “The Chave line ... could make a fair claim to be France’s winemaking royal family: in no other of France’s great terroirs is the largest individual landholder so deeply rooted in time and place, so supremely competent, and so modest a custodian of the insights and craftsmanship of the past."

 

Some of the best rated vintages from this domaine have been 1990, 1995, 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010, although this domaine has oft been praised for its ability to produce excellent wine in some of the trickier vintages, such as in 2002, with Parker noting, “[w]hat Chave accomplished in the extremely challenging 2002 vintage is unquestionably noteworthy.

 

Jean-Louis Chave: The Insight

The Hermitage Rouge and Hermitage Blanc account for most of the production at this estate, which also includes a luxury cuvée, some St Joseph from their vines in that appellation and a highly rated Vin de Paille.

 

The most important factor in the winemaking at this domaine is the blending process that takes place every year. There is no set formula for the final blend, and different proportions of wine from each of the single vineyard sites will be used every year depending on the characteristics of that particular vintage, and each will bring its own particular character to the blend. As Gérard Chave told Stephen Tanzer in 2000, “We create a wine that no early taster knows. Every year we start from zero in assembling the blend.

 

The Hermitage Rouge is consistently highly rated by critics, who praise its richness of fruit and deep complexity, with Parker describing the 100 point rated 2010 vintage as, “full-bodied and stunningly rich with laser-like precision…a powerful, massive yet exceptionally well-balanced wine.”

 

The Hermitage Blanc has also received considerable praise, with many highlighting its concentration and extraordinary longevity. In praise of the 2009 vintage of this wine, Parker writes that it is “insanely good” and “utterly profound in every way, offer[ing] to-die-for notes of liquid rock, licorice, buttered citrus, honey and quince [which] gives way to a voluptuous, full-bodied, decadent and heavenly Hermitage Blanc that has massive richness and mid-palate depth while always staying fresh, pure and focused.”

 

The luxury Cuvée Cathelin made its debut with the 1990 vintage. The wine was named after a close friend of the family, the well-known French artist Bernard Cathelin who designed the label. This wine is made by blending the same fruit used in the Hermitage, but in different proportions. Most of the grapes that are used to produce this cuvée come from the Les Bessards lieu-dit, a terroir rich in granite giving the wine considerable structure. This wine is intended to be more concentrated and refined than the Hermitage and spends much more time in new French oak during its maturation period. Only about 200 cases of Cuvée Cathelin are made, and only in those vintages where Chave deems that the quality of the grapes is high enough, which explains the huge demand and the premium prices it commands. Josh Raynolds of Vinous describes the 2003 vintage of this wine as possessing “[p]ositively explosive aromas of mulberry, creme de mure, exotic chocolate, musky herbs, pungent flowers and smoky game, with wild potpourri and resin notes.”

 

Chave has also created a small négociant business called ‘J L Chave Sélection’, which produces two wines from bought grapes, the St Joseph Offerus and the Côtes du Rhône Mon Coeur. He is clear about the fact that these are not second wines, but wines made with a different philosophy in mind, that is to create reasonably priced wines in a sustainable way that are true reflections of terroir.

 

Of the 14 hectares of vines that JL Chave owns in Hermitage, 10 are planted to Syrah and used to produce the two Hermitage wines, their traditional Hermitage and their prestige Cuvée Cathelin. These vines are old and have an average of about 50 years. The 4 remaining hectares are planted to 80% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne, and these vines are all around 60 years of age.

 

Jean-Louis Chave: The Background

The Chave family are one of the oldest winemaking families in the world, with their label proudly bearing the inscription ‘Vignerons de Père en Fils depuis 1481.’ The current winemaker Jean-Louis Chave is the 16th generation of his family to manage this estate. Originally, the Chave family made wine in the appellation now known as St. Joseph, but the family made the move to Hermitage following the attack of phylloxera in the late 19th century. JL Chave completed a renovation and extension to their cellars in late 2014, a move showing that although this is a domaine steeped in tradition, they continue to innovate and improve year on year.

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results   
WINES COLLAPSE ALL

MARKET PRICE    ?

2015 Cotes du Rhone Mon Coeur Chave Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2015 Cotes du Rhone Mon Coeur Chave Rhone

£100.00
£100.00

2014 Cotes du Rhone Mon Coeur Chave Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2014 Cotes du Rhone Mon Coeur Chave Rhone

£107.00
£107.00

2013 Cotes du Rhone Mon Coeur Chave Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2013 Cotes du Rhone Mon Coeur Chave Rhone

£111.00
£111.00

2011 Cotes du Rhone Mon Coeur Chave Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2011 Cotes du Rhone Mon Coeur Chave Rhone

£217.00
£217.00

N.V. Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

N.V. Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin Rhone

£42,632.00
£3,571.00

2009 Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2009 Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin Rhone

£46,268.00
£3,877.00

2003 Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2003 Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin Rhone

£62,060.00
NEW
£15,620.00
£5,205.00

1998 Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

98.0

1998 Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin Rhone

98.0
£46,472.00
£3,894.00
DP £3,894.00

1995 Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1995 Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin Rhone

£35,252.00
£2,949.00

N.V. Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

N.V. Hermitage Rhone

£2,144.00
£180.00

2014 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2014 Hermitage Rhone

£2,361.00
£2,361.00
£1,180.00
£590.00
£198.00

2014 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2014 Hermitage Rhone

£2,369.00
£2,369.00

2013 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2013 Hermitage Rhone

£2,981.00
£2,981.00
£250.00
£497.00

2012 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

95.5

2012 Hermitage Rhone

95.5
£2,411.00
£2,411.00
£1,205.00
£202.00

2011 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2011 Hermitage Rhone

£1,978.00
£1,978.00
£990.00

2010 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

100.0

2010 Hermitage Rhone

100.0
£4,339.00
£361.00

2010 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

100.0

2010 Hermitage Rhone

100.0
£3,998.00
£333.00
£315.00

2009 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

100.0

2009 Hermitage Rhone

100.0
£3,806.00
£317.00

2009 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

100.0

2009 Hermitage Rhone

100.0
£3,894.00
DP £1,946.00

2008 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2008 Hermitage Rhone

£1,683.00
£142.00

2008 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

90.0

2008 Hermitage Rhone

90.0
£1,647.00
DP £826.00

2007 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

95.0

2007 Hermitage Rhone

95.0
£2,800.00
£1,399.00
£234.00

2007 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2007 Hermitage Rhone

£2,339.00
£2,339.00

2006 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2006 Hermitage Rhone

£2,342.00
DP £1,171.00

2005 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

95.0

2005 Hermitage Rhone

95.0
£2,920.00
£244.00
DP £221.00

2005 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

95.0

2005 Hermitage Rhone

95.0
£2,872.00
£240.00

2004 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

94.0

2004 Hermitage Rhone

94.0
£1,743.00
£147.00

2004 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

94.0

2004 Hermitage Rhone

94.0
£2,070.00
£2,070.00
£174.00

2003 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

100.0

2003 Hermitage Rhone

100.0
£6,363.00
£530.00

2003 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2003 Hermitage Rhone

£6,058.00
£504.00

2002 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

92.5

2002 Hermitage Rhone

92.5
£1,755.00
£148.00

2001 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

94.0

2001 Hermitage Rhone

94.0
£2,459.00
£206.00

2001 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2001 Hermitage Rhone

£2,240.00
£188.00

2000 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2000 Hermitage Rhone

£2,291.00
£192.00

1999 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

95.0

1999 Hermitage Rhone

95.0
£2,671.00
£2,671.00

1999 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1999 Hermitage Rhone

£3,683.00
£307.00

1998 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

95.0

1998 Hermitage Rhone

95.0
£2,387.00
DP £2,387.00

1998 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

95.0

1998 Hermitage Rhone

95.0
£2,848.00
£474.00

1997 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1997 Hermitage Rhone

£1,998.00
£168.00

1996 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

91.0

1996 Hermitage Rhone

91.0
£1,963.00
£1,963.00

1995 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

97.0

1995 Hermitage Rhone

97.0
£2,917.00
£244.00

1994 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1994 Hermitage Rhone

£2,228.00
DP £187.00

1993 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1993 Hermitage Rhone

£1,936.00
£1,936.00

1989 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

96.0

1989 Hermitage Rhone

96.0
£4,315.00
£359.00

1985 Hermitage Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1985 Hermitage Rhone

£4,192.00
£349.00
DP £349.00

N.V. Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

N.V. Hermitage Blanc Rhone

£1,599.00
£135.00

2014 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2014 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

£1,676.00
£841.00
£421.00

2013 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2013 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

£2,018.00
£2,018.00
£1,010.00
£170.00

2012 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

95.33

2012 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

95.33
£1,417.00
£120.00

2009 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

100.0

2009 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

100.0
£2,326.00
£195.00

2007 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

95.0

2007 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

95.0
£2,387.00
£2,387.00
£200.00

2006 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

97.0

2006 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

97.0
£1,335.00
£1,335.00

2005 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

96.0

2005 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

96.0
£2,084.00
DP £1,043.00
£175.00

2004 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

95.0

2004 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

95.0
£1,794.00
£151.00

2002 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

90.0

2002 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

90.0
£1,563.00
£1,563.00
£132.00

2001 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

93.0

2001 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

93.0
£1,859.00
£1,859.00
£157.00

2000 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2000 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

£1,990.00
£1,990.00
£168.00
NEW
DP £168.00

1999 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

93.0

1999 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

93.0
£1,924.00
£162.00

1998 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

92.0

1998 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

92.0
£1,793.00
£151.00

1997 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1997 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

£1,902.00
£160.00

1996 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

93.0

1996 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

93.0
£1,724.00
£1,724.00
£146.00

1995 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1995 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

£2,132.00
£179.00

1993 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1993 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

£1,998.00
£168.00

1992 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1992 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

£1,782.00
£150.00

1981 Hermitage Blanc Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1981 Hermitage Blanc Rhone

£2,860.00
£239.00

2010 Hermitage Blanc Blanche Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2010 Hermitage Blanc Blanche Rhone

£413.00
£413.00

2012 Hermitage Blanc Selection Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

93.25

2012 Hermitage Blanc Selection Rhone

93.25
£281.00
£281.00

2011 Hermitage Blanc Selection Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2011 Hermitage Blanc Selection Rhone

£281.00
£281.00
£27.00

2005 Hermitage Blanc Selection Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2005 Hermitage Blanc Selection Rhone

£450.00
£450.00

2009 Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin (oc) Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2009 Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin (oc) Rhone

£48,980.00
£4,105.00

1998 Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin (oc) Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1998 Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin (oc) Rhone

£46,268.00
£3,877.00

1995 Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin (oc) Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1995 Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin (oc) Rhone

£51,116.00
£4,283.00

2013 Hermitage Farconnet Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2013 Hermitage Farconnet Rhone

£403.00
£403.00
£203.00

2012 Hermitage Farconnet Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2012 Hermitage Farconnet Rhone

£403.00
£403.00

2011 Hermitage Farconnet Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2011 Hermitage Farconnet Rhone

£403.00
£403.00

2010 Hermitage Farconnet Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2010 Hermitage Farconnet Rhone

£413.00
£413.00

2009 Hermitage Farconnet Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2009 Hermitage Farconnet Rhone

£445.00
£445.00

2000 Hermitage Rouge Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2000 Hermitage Rouge Rhone

£2,156.00
£181.00

1998 Hermitage Rouge Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1998 Hermitage Rouge Rhone

£2,773.00
£232.00

1997 Hermitage Rouge Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1997 Hermitage Rouge Rhone

£2,216.00
£186.00

2009 Hermitage Rouge (oc) Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2009 Hermitage Rouge (oc) Rhone

£5,117.00
£5,117.00
£427.00

2007 Hermitage Rouge (oc) Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2007 Hermitage Rouge (oc) Rhone

£2,202.00
£2,202.00
£185.00

2000 Hermitage Rouge (oc) Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2000 Hermitage Rouge (oc) Rhone

£2,204.00
£185.00

1999 Hermitage Rouge (oc) Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1999 Hermitage Rouge (oc) Rhone

£2,701.00
£226.00

1998 Hermitage Rouge (oc) Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1998 Hermitage Rouge (oc) Rhone

£2,992.00
£250.00
£238.00

1997 Hermitage Rouge (oc) Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

1997 Hermitage Rouge (oc) Rhone

£2,264.00
£190.00

N.V. St Joseph Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

N.V. St Joseph Rhone

£617.00
£54.00

2014 St Joseph Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2014 St Joseph Rhone

£599.00
£599.00
£300.00

2013 St Joseph Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2013 St Joseph Rhone

£497.00
£497.00
£44.00

2012 St Joseph Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

93.0

2012 St Joseph Rhone

93.0
£733.00
£733.00
£64.00

2011 St Joseph Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

93.0

2011 St Joseph Rhone

93.0
£587.00
£587.00

2010 St Joseph Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2010 St Joseph Rhone

£802.00
DP £802.00

2009 St Joseph Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2009 St Joseph Rhone

£733.00
£733.00

2005 St Joseph Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2005 St Joseph Rhone

£920.00
£920.00

2015 St Joseph Blanc Circa Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2015 St Joseph Blanc Circa Rhone

£215.00
£215.00

2014 St Joseph Blanc Circa Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2014 St Joseph Blanc Circa Rhone

£211.00
£211.00

2013 St Joseph Blanc Circa Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2013 St Joseph Blanc Circa Rhone

£219.00
£219.00

2014 St Joseph Offerus Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2014 St Joseph Offerus Rhone

£179.00
£179.00
£91.00

2013 St Joseph Offerus Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2013 St Joseph Offerus Rhone

£179.00
£179.00

2012 St Joseph Offerus Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2012 St Joseph Offerus Rhone

£187.00
£187.00

2011 St Joseph Offerus Chave; Jean-Louis Rhone

2011 St Joseph Offerus Rhone

£179.00
£179.00

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