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 originated in 1989 to celebrate the centenary of planting the finest plot of the domain. Its soils and sub-soils are rich in clay and the vines are blessed with optimal sunshine as well as a violent mistral wind which contributes to the concentration of the berries. The wine is only made in noteworthy vintages, for example 2017 or 2010 recently, and nowadays the vines are 125 years old. An explosive aromatic bouquet abounds, from blackcurrant to blackberry. On the palate it has impressive roundness with melted tannins. Its length is testimony to its status as "one of the greats".
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