The Chave family has been making wine in the Rhone since the end of the 15th Century when a local lord granted them a vineyard plot. Jean-Louis Chave, son of Gérard, is currently at the helm of this mythical property on the Colline de l’Hermitage and continues to set himself challenges. The most recent of these was his acquisition of the phylloxera-devastated Clos Florentin in 2009. He also revived some vineyard parcels on the slopes of Bachasson in the Saint-Joseph appellation in the 1990s. The domain strives to bring out the best in its terroirs but does not produce single parcel wines or "super cuvées". The only exception to this is cuvée Cathelin which is named after a deceased artist friend of the winegrower. This cuvée is only produced in noteworthy years and production is limited to 2000 bottles. Jean-Louis Chave strives to perpetuate the domain’s distinctive style of wine, staying faithful to the ancestral practices that forged its reputation. This means carefully controlled yields, no artificial herbicides or fertilisers, harvesting grapes as late as possible to achieve optimum ripeness, and a very low intervention winemaking process to allow the wine to develop as it chooses. Each parcel’s crop is vinified and barrel-aged separately so that it fully expresses its distinctive character. This is what gives the final blend its beautiful complexity.
About the cuvée
This cuvée originates from a parcel more than sixty years old grown in the lieu-dit of the same name in the town of Ampuis. The Syrah has been fermented and macerated for more than three weeks, enriched with daily pump-overs. The wine has been matured for 22 months in barrique barrels. The domain produces a wine with a deep, almost black appearance. It requires many years of keeping before it will reveal its black berry notes. Genuinely racy and robust, the tannins of this wine become more refined over time and express themselves elegantly, giving way to a long, persistent finish.
The best vintages for Hermitage Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin Jean-Louis Chave :
2003, 2000, 1998, 1995, 1991, 1990
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