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2010 J.L. Chave Selection "Silène" Crozes-Hermitage

SKU #1094968 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Bright ruby. Heady aromas of blueberry, olive and incense, with a bright mineral topnote. Elegant, seamless and precise, offering tangy black and blue fruit flavors and a touch of peppery spices. Finishes with good back-end lift, gentle tannins and lingering sweetness. Shows a finer grain and more finesse than the Offerus today. Chave also showed me the 2008 Hermitage Blanc Blanche and 2008 Hermitage Farconnet; while the Blanche has put on weight and gained an intense, honeyed quality, the Farconnet has become tighter and more sharply focused, The Blanche is delicious right now but I'd hold off opening my Farconnet for at least another couple of years. Inner quote mark (3/2013)

91 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark This has nice character, with chestnut and bay leaf aromas followed by gutsy flavors of blackberry and plum paste. A tarry edge takes over on the finish, but this stays fresh and driven. Drink now through 2016. Inner quote mark (10/2012)

K&L Notes

This legendary estate of Jean-Louis Chave, with more than 37 acres in the prized northern Rhône appellation of Hermitage, has been owned and operated by the Chave family since 1481. That's before Shakespeare. Before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Right around the time of the Spanish Inquisition. But even with the weight of history on his shoulders, or maybe because of it, Jean-Louis Chave, who is in his mid-40s, has managed to craft some of the finest wines of the modern era. He started the negociant J-L Chave Selection in the mid-1990s with the goal of sourcing expressive, terroir-driven wines from outside the Hermitage AOC. And the wines, including this Silène, are a great introduction to the Chave style, without the high price tag. Much of the Silène comes from a steeply-sloping east-facing parcel on the edge of Hermitage that the Chaves own that was planted in 2002. More focused than a lot of Croze, which usually come from the valley floor, this is bright and sexy, with incredibly intense fruit. 13% abv.

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Price: $29.99
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