A Huge Surprise, Revisited: 2008 Chave Hermitage Rouge

Posted by Ian McFadden

We're on a Northern Rhône kick. Now that temperatures have started to cool, it's what we're craving.

It seemed like the perfect moment to revisit Chave's 2008 Hermitage.

I have a major soft spot for this wine. Chave's 2008 takes preconceived notions and turns them on their head.

The Chave family are masters of Syrah. And it's in vintages like 2008 where Chave's skill is most boldly on display. I've tasted the 2008 multiple times over the years and have been shocked by how successful Chave was. The only producer who had comparable success is Thierry Allemand.

When I had the opportunity, I jumped on the chance to re-up on it. I love wines like Chave's 2008. It transcends what people expect from the vintage by a shocking amount.

The 2008 is a not a grandly scaled version of Chave's Hermitage, and honestly that's a quality that I revel in. The 2008 Hermitage has an elegance and brilliance to it that's just thrilling. I'm really impressed by how expressive, shimmering and harmonious it is. It's this harmony that promises it will age for a decade plus.

Part of the wild success of the 2008 is due to Chave's ruthless selection. They declassified one-third of the production. Their vineyards played a role as well. The Chave family holds parcels in Hermitage's finest vineyard sites (Les Bessards, Meal, l’Ermite, Peleat, and Les Beaumes), and Jean-Louis blends these with an unparalleled mastery.

The Chave family has been making wine on the slopes of the Northern Rhône for over 500 years and Hermitage Rouge is their flagship bottling. I strongly advise you to listen to Levi Dalton's incredibly informative interview with Jean-Louis Chave.

Chave's 2008 Hermitage is absolutely gorgeous and holds enough in reserve to age well for another handful of years. It's a fascinating example of Chave's mastery and the aristocratic breeding that he brings to Hermitage.

To order, reply to offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden

Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits