2013 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Still in barrel at the time of this tasting, the 2013 Hermitage will certainly be one of the wines of the vintage. Offering classic, granite-induced notes of smoked dark fruits, graphite, searing minerality and bouquet garni, this sensational Hermitage has medium to full-bodied richness, beautiful mid-palate density and building tannin, all with the freshness and purity of the vintage. Reminiscent of a more backwards, tight, focused and granite-driven year (I asked Jean-Louis if there was a similar vintage he could recall, he commented that he couldn't think of one), it has solid ripeness in its aromas and flavors, good sweetness in its tannin, and a great finish. I suspect it will need 7-8 years of cellaring and keep for 20-25 years or more. (JD)
(this wine is the final blend and was resting in holding tanks in preparation for bottling, "probably in March," according to Chave): Inky ruby. Vibrant black and blue fruit aromas are complicated by suggestions of candied flowers, incense and licorice, and a bright mineral nuance adds lift. Sweet, fleshy and focused, offering palate-staining cherry compote, black raspberry and violet pastille flavors accented by smoky Indian spices and a hint of cracked pepper. Shows impressive depth but comes off surprisingly lithe, finishing with superb focus and length and fine-grained tannins that sneak in slowly. . (JR)
Solidly built, with a bolt of charcoal through the core of dark cherry, plum and blackberry preserves. Lots of bay, sage and leather fill in the background. Best from 2019 through 2034.