2006 Jean Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc
Intense, rich and remarkably focused, this offers stunning purity of fruit, such as Jonagold apple and Cavaillon melon, along with enticing heather honey, roasted macadamia nut, orange blossom and dried persimmon notes, all laid over a dense but brilliantly defined palate. The nearly endless finish of beeswax and buttered brioche is absolutely fantastic. Drink now or hold for a decade. Perhaps the best white produced here to date. Best after 2019.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The bottled 2006 Hermitage blanc is remarkably powerful (around 15% natural alcohol), and demonstrates the heights white wine varietals reached in the northern Rhone in 2006. Its sumptuous nose reminds me of a liqueur of white flowers intermixed with notions of truffles, white peaches, honeysuckle, marmalade, and crushed rocks. Dense, full-bodied, and super-powerful as well as flowery, with razor-like focus, this magnificent white Hermitage should drink well for 25-30 years. One of my favorite true and authentic vignerons to visit is the Chave family, located in the tiny, one-horse village of Mauves, just south of Tournon. The son, Jean-Louis, is taking over the reins more and more, but his father, Gerard, is still involved even though he is officially retired. As always, these wines performed brilliantly. Readers should keep in mind that the reviews of the 2007 white Hermitage and 2007 red Hermitage are a matter of extrapolating from tasting all the separate vineyards that go into these wines. That said, the Chaves appear to be ratcheting up their quality level because of a Draconian selection process in the vineyard as well as in the winery. The Chave estate winesí finest value is St.-Joseph (5,000 bottles produced in each vintage), which comes from hillside vines planted in pure schist just outside their home village of Mauves.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Light gold color. Strikingly complex, sexy bouquet of pear, floral honey, sweet butter, anise, toasted grain and smoky minerals; reminds me of a top-notch Meursault. Very rich, with creamy orchard fruit flavors supported by a firm underpinning of minerals. The anise note gains power on the finish, which strongly echoes the honey, anise and mineral qualities. You could enjoy this immensely right now but I'd defer opening mine for at least another decade or more. Anything else would be vinfanticide.
Mid gold. Rich, waxy and honeyed. Beeswax. Lots of freshness underneath too. Vibrates. Long and amazingly tense and exciting. Minerality substitutes for acid. Buzzy and then a streak of green keeps this very lively.