The Master of Hermitage: 2012 Chave Hermitage Blanc

Posted by Ian McFadden

Chave's Hermitage is one of the great wines of the world.

His red Hermitage assumes a looming presence, but his white is simply profound. Today, we pay homage to Chave's extraordinary Hermitage Blanc.

Over the years, Chave's Blanc has steadily assumed a place as one of my favorite white wines on the planet.

As Jean-Louis Chave makes clear in an I'll Drink To That! interview, the initial renown for Hermitage was built on the white. Accordingly, almost all of the really old wines in Chave's cellar are white. There's no other dry white wine in the world that ages quite like Chave's Hermitage Blanc.

I mention this to situate just how epic, how important Chave's white is. It's a stand-alone wine. Its greatness, however, is complicated. It absolutely dominates the palate with indescribable layers, spellbinding nobility and a luxurious, dizzying, kaleidoscopic, mysterious depth.

Like Chave's Hermitage Rouge, the Blanc boasts Chave's brilliant blending skills. What results is an insane flavor spectrum of nectarine, peach, citrus oils, quince, marzipan, honey and flowers, balanced by great purity, elegance, minerality and freshness. It's head-spinning.

The 2012 is a dense and powerful vintage for the wine, flaunting all the layers and nuance the wine can possess. However, the vintage's richness is only part of the story. It's also a wine with a mineral backbone and serious energy. It's the combination of presence, verve and stony underpinnings that make the wine so thrilling.

For me, Chave's Blanc demands a place in every collector's cellar. It's an incredible wine and a distance runner. I'm very happy to offer.

To order, email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden

Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2012 Chave Hermitage Blanc

Special Bottle Price: $249.95

Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media: "Pale gold. Potent, mineral-accented honeysuckle, citrus and orchard fruit aromas show remarkable freshness and lift. Tightly wound, energetic lemon curd and green apple flavors flesh out with air to display excellent depth, with no excess fat. Finishes on a suave floral note, with an insistent mineral quality and wonderful focus and length."