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.
Inky ruby. An expansive bouquet evokes ripe black and blue fruits, candied flowers and smoky bacon, along with suggestions of olive and pipe tobacco. Densely packed, spice-accented blackberry and cherry liqueur flavours show fine delineation and energetic lift thanks to a core of juicy acidity. A mineral nuance arrives with air and carries through a long, velvety finish framed by round, well-knit tannins. [94 Points, Josh Raynolds – July 2019, vinous.com]