2015 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1348735 98-100 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Not yet bottled, the 2015 Hermitage has perfection written all over it and reminds me of the 2010. Graphite, charcoal, liquid rock, and sensationally pure crème de cassis notes all soar from the glass of this full-bodied, concentrated, opulent 2015. This is a big, sexy beast of a Hermitage, yet it has the classic minerality, purity, and balance shown by just about every wine made from this estate. Forget bottles for 4-5 years, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following 4-5 decades. (JD)  (1/2018)

98-100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 After tasting several intermediate blends that will ultimately be combined in some proportion to create the 2015 Hermitage, I would not be surprised to see the final result achieve perfection. Although massively ripe and concentrated, there is still a feeling of balance and elegance in the wines that I fully expect to carry over into the final product. As the blending process isn’t complete, Jean-Louis warned that it was too early to say if there would be a Cuvée Cathelin, which is typically an outstanding parcel that, for some reason, doesn’t work in the rest of the blend. (JC)  (12/2017)

96-98 points Vinous

 As usual, tasted vineyard by vineyard from barrels. 1) from Les Beaume: Powerful, deep-pitched cherry, blueberry and violet character; intense mineral and spice overtones add vivacity. 2) from Meal: Densely packed but uncannily fresh and energetic, displaying sweet raspberry, cherry, spicecake and floral pastille qualities and a core of juicy acidity. 3) from Ermite: Superb depth of dark fruit and floral character; a core of minerality provides energetic lift and focus, giving an impression of energy, not weight. 4) from Bessards: Mineral and floral notes accent ripe blackberry and cherry, and a sexy Asian spice flourish lends an exotic touch and back-end cut. The final wine should be a knockout and I envision that it will come off as a hypothetical cross of Chave's 2009 (power and heft) and 2010 (energy and structure).  (4/2017)

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Price: $299.99
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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Rhone

- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market. View our bestselling Rhone Valley wines.
Specific Appellation:

Hermitage/Crozes-Hermitage

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5