2008 Hermitage Blanc Jean-Louis Chave

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Average critic rating : 92.0 points



Consequently, there is little of the 2008 Hermitage Blanc (which was scheduled to be bottled the week after my visit), but it is one of the finest 2008s produced in the Northern Rhone. The wine offers up scents of almond paste, brioche, white currants and quince as well as a full-bodied, concentrated personality displaying good acidity and a more forward style than either the 2009 or 2007. It is best drunk in its first 7-8 years of life. ||Tasting through the different Hermitage vineyards (including Peleat, Les Beaumes, Meal, l’Ermite and Les Bessards), the lowest score any of these lots received was 94-96 (Les Beaumes). The other parcels all merited 97-100 points. The most dominant component part of Chave’s red Hermitage comes from Les Bessards, which many consider to be the greatest vineyard on Hermitage Hill. The next largest is Meal, a vineyard with a more southerly exposure. While Chave has not made their special cuvee, Cuvee Cathelin, since 2003, I suspect one will emerge from the different lots of Les Bessards that I tasted as 2009 is certainly a year where enough wine can be culled out for the Cathelin without sacrificing the monumental quality of the regular Hermitage. This looks to be one of the wines of the vintage, which is not surprising given the fact that the Chave family has more experience than just about anybody in the winemaking world (the domaine was founded in 1481 - nearly a decade before Christopher Columbus discovered America!). Wine Advocate.February, 2011


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