The Chaves have been growing vines on the famous Hermitage hill for over 500 years. The domaine produces a red St Joseph ‘Offerus’ (made in equal proportions from senior vines in Mauves and St –Jean-de Muzols), an acclaimed Vin de Paille, but their reputation is built on their superb red Hermitage (Syrah with the addtion of 15% white grapes) and white Hermitage (85% Marsanne and 15% Roussanne). The Chaves own 15 hectares of vines on the Hermitage and crucially their Hermitage holding is spread across 9 of the 18 climates on the hill. The grapes are partially de-stemmed and then fermented in a combination of open wooden vats and cement cuves. The wine is matured in a combination of large wooden foudres and small wooden casks (a proportion of which will be new) for 12-18 months. All Chave wines are bottled unfiltered.
Deep ruby. Powerful aromas of blackberry, candied violet and woodsmoke, plus a hint of olive that emerges with aeration. Sweet, densely packed and seamless in texture, offering juicy black and blue fruit and licorice flavors given lift and spine by a core of juicy acidity. Spreads out and becomes spicier on the long, sweet finish, which features subtle tannins and a sexy floral nuance. [91 Points, Josh Raynolds – July 2017, vinous.com]