1990 J.L. Chave Hermitage
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Also mature, yet with another level of texture and richness, the 1990 Hermitage is a profound effort that’s drinking perfectly. Voluptuous, yet classy and still refined, with awesome cassis and blackberry fruit, flowers, rose petal and hints of rendered bacon fat, it is full-bodied, textured and layered on the palate, with no hard edges and killer length on the finish. This beauty makes lights go off in my head, and as with the ’91, I’d drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years or so. (JD)
This still very rich and alluring, with a core of dark roasted plum, black currant and blackberry fruit that still has an unctuous feel. There are additional floral and black tea notes, flashes of bergamot and clove, and a lingering tarry edge that supports the finish. Still throws a long shadow. (Web-2012)
Chave’s 1990 Hermitage is simply magnificent from the moment it is poured. A dark, translucent ruby, the 1990 hits the palate with a rush of bold red-fleshed fruits. Hints of herb, smoke, cedar, dried flowers, tobacco and leather open up with time in the glass, but above all else, the 1990 is superbly polished and silky, with exceptional balance and an alluring, sensual personality that makes it nearly impossible to put the glass down. This is an especially fine bottle of the 1990 and a real thrill to drink. It simply does not get too much better than this. Readers lucky enough to own well-stored bottles can look forward to another 15-20 years of pure pleasure.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Ruby-red. Sauvage yet extremely youthful aromas of dark berries, leather, minerals and spices; some high tones quickly dissipated with aeration. Huge, thick, extravagantly rich Hermitage; harmonious even if it still closed in the middle. Extremely unevolved dark berry flavors and a deep core of spice are complicated by notes of wild game and roasted plum. Extraordinary combination of power and finesse. Finishes with explosive length and big, thoroughly ripe tannins.
Pale lustrous ruby - slightly bluer than the Chapoutier Sizeranne 1990 - but very nuanced towards the rim. Very savoury and intense on the nose. Rich essence of northern Rhône Syrah. Transparent and very fine. More sweetness on the finish than on the Sizeranne - wonderfully long. But the tannins are only perceptible on the very finish. Really lively and actually this is lightening up. Ready to drink, I'd say, to judge from this bottle. 18.5/20 points. Drink to 2022.