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Average critic rating : 93.0 points

93

93

The 2012 Saint Joseph, which was just bottled, showed beautifully, and I continue to see more and more terrific, world-class wines from this appellation. Exhibiting terrific blackberry, ground pepper, crushed rock and underbrush, it’s medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated and has an open, sexy style that’s already hard to resist. Drink it over the coming decade. ||This was another terrific tasting with Jean-Louis Chave, and this family-run estate continues to fire on all cylinders. They've just finished construction on a cellar extension (the 2014s will be the first vintage made here) and while they still have a ways to go with their efforts in Saint Joseph (which includes a massive newly planted vineyard), this project seems to have progressed to a point where it’s at least possible to imagine the end. All of this appears to be a welcome relief, and the scope and amount of work involved in all of these new projects is truly monumental. They've done all of this while keeping their Hermitage releases as true to their idea of the appellation as possible, and I think as these notes show, they haven’t missed a beat.|As normal, the latest releases (2013 and 2012) were tasted from barrel, and the current release, the 2011, from bottle. The 2011 is a classic, sweetly fruited effort that I suspect will continue to fill in as it evolved in bottle. The 2012 is similar in quality, but is more rounded and sexy, and will deliver more pleasure in its youth, although neither of these are hard to appreciate even now. In stark contrast to both of these, the 2013 is a backwards brute that shows more granite-like minerality than anything else at present. This is a unique vintage here and Jean-Louis even hinted that he might pull out a Cuvee Cathelin. |As to the whites, I continue to love these massive, textured and classically styled efforts. These beauties age on their concentration and extract, and thankfully, there’s been no concession at this estate to the rising trend to harvest earlier and focus on acidity. His 2013 tastes like a hypothetical mix of the 2011 and the 2012, with the focus and minerality of the ’11 and the voluptuousness and texture of the 2012. eRobertParker.com.December, 2014

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