A Bargain on the Hill of Hermitage: JL Chave Selection's
Domaine Jean-Louis Chave is one of France's most legendary producers. Chave's red and white Hermitage wines are among France's best.
The family has been described as "France’s winemaking royal family" (via Andrew Jeffords in The New France). And, somewhat more literally, called a "soil-to-glass-transfer domaine that produces supremely elegant wines with superb pedigree from the core of the Hermitage hill" (John Livingstone-Learmonth).
In that context, the J.L. Chave Selection Hermitage Blanc "Blanche" is nearly a miracle. It's a legit Hermitage, mostly from old vines in a parcel at the top of the hill called Maison Blanche. And the Chave genius for terroir expression is on full display: the wine has all the classic Hermitage complexity, the range of flavors, the freshness and the weight.
Best of all, despite Hermitage's incredible age-worthiness, this is a wine that is already drop-dead gorgeous. Buy enough to lay a bunch down, for sure. But don't feel like you need to wait to discover the joys of Hermitage Blanc — pull a cork and find out this weekend! Just make sure you buy enough to last because it's just that good.
J.L. Chave Selection Hermitage Blanc "Blanche," 2016
"Limpid yellow-gold. Fresh pit fruits, lemon curd, jasmine and a frisson of chamomile on the deeply perfumed nose, along with suggestions of honey and succulent herbs. Pliant and energetic on the palate, offering intense peach, pear nectar and Meyer lemon flavors that become livelier as the wine stretches out. A smoky mineral note emerges on the impressively long, energetic finish, which leaves a hint of bitter pear skin behind." — Josh Raynolds, Vinous