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.
Tasted in components. #1, from Chaillets: shows expansive, ripe black and blue fruit, incense and potpourri qualities; olive paste and exotic spice notes build in the glass. Tightens up with air and takes on a zesty mineral nuance. #2, Dardouille: black currant, boysenberry, fruitcake and violet pastille aromas and flavors show sharp delineation and back-end thrust. Shuts down slowly and dusty tannins build. #3, from Baschesson: vibrant black and fruit scents show sharp definition and take on a suave floral note with air. Sweet and energetic, showing very good depth and strong, floral-driven persistence. This should be a less formidable wine than its infant 2019 sibling, but it sure won’t lack for power or depth. [93-94 Points, Josh Raynolds – May 2020, vinous.com]