Hermitage Greatness Within Reach: 2010 Chave Hermitage Farconnet

Posted by Ian McFadden

Rhône Royalty
2010 Chave Hermitage Farconnet
Hermitage Greatness Within Reach

The 2010 Farconnet is the best edition we've tasted. And we're immensely grateful...

For those times when cracking a near-$400 bottle of Chave's Hermitage for a Saturday night at the grill seems just the slightest bit excessive, there's Hermitage Farconnet. Also known as just about the best combination of prestige and value in the Northern Rhone.

In 2010, Farconnet delivers in a very big way. 2010 is thrilling in its purity, its detail and its clarity. Chave capitalized on this great vintage to an astounding degree.

Hermitage is unparalleled among its Rhône peers for its captivating power, its ageworthy noblesse. And all this is obvious in J. L. Chave's Hermitage Farconnet, which I'm happy to offer out at a mere fraction of the price of its mighty cousin - $74.95 on bottles and $67.95 in 4-packs.

Farconnet comes out of Chave's obsessively quality-minded negociant label, with fruit meticulously selected from three prime sites. Greffieux is the big ticket vineyard here, with its characteristic large river stones; right up there among the greatest terroirs of Hermitage, it brings elegant stoniness and supple tannins, all rounded out by the spice of Diognières and the soft silk of Péleat.

Front and center here is Chave's supreme prowess as a blender. The wine gives up equal parts ruthless intensity and finely threaded finesse, a layered, nuanced expression of Syrah. That you're on the receiving end of greatness is clear.

Andrew Jeffords puts it elegantly in The New France, declaring that the Chave family "could make a fair claim to be France’s winemaking royal family: in no other of France’s great terroirs is the largest individual landholder so deeply rooted in time and place, so supremely competent, and so modest a custodian of insights and craftsmanship of the past."

In other words, Hermitage is the ultimate expression of Syrah, and Chave's is as good as it gets.

This is not an offer to skimp on. It's a wine that offers just as much pleasure this summer by the grill as after ten years developing in the cellar. A different kind of pleasure, to be sure, the latter unfolding in layers of complexity, richness, and depth, but neither one you'd want to miss.

It is just not often that such greatness comes within reach. This is undeniable mastery, and it's here for the taking.

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

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine and Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits