The Master of Hermitage: 2012 Chave Hermitage Rouge

Posted by Ian McFadden

The Master of Hermitage
2012 Chave Hermitage Rouge

"Serious granite-like minerality, superb mid-palate depth and a focused, structured finish." -Jeb Dunnuck

Any time that I can offer Chave, I'm happy. For me, Chave's Hermitage is one of the great wines of the world.

Like many people, I've found myself increasingly obsessed with the Northern Rhône. In terms of outright nobility and soulfulness, Chave is without peer. There's simply no better expression of Syrah on the planet.

I've fallen hard for the 2012 vintage in the Northern Rhône. I find the suave texture and verve to be such an appealing combination. Think of it as possessing similar structure to 2010, but with silkier and rounder tannins.

Chave's 2012 Hermitage takes these vintage characteristics and adds a stern mineral backbone and epic scale. This is as good as the vintage gets. As all great Chave's do, the 2012 delivers regal grandeur with a refined elegance. There may very well be no Syrah on the planet that packs such complexity into a harmonious, subtle whole.

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 2012 boasts a gorgeous, layered completeness. There are heartbreaking aromatics of violets and other flowers, spice and smoke. The palate shows a structured core with an ultra-fine driving length.

I'm going to wrap this up. It always feels impossible to do Chave's Hermitage justice. Luckily, many of you already have a sense of the wine's greatness.

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

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

Jeb Dunnuck: "Looking at the 2012 Hermitage, which is still resting in barrels and getting ready to be bottled, it’s a much more classic, easy to read Hermitage that has lots of ripe, sweet fruit in its full-bodied, concentrated, textured profile. It has copious sweet blackberry and cassis fruit, violet and serious granite-like minerality, superb mid-palate depth and a focused, structured finish. It’s a beautiful, classy 2012 that will have 20-25+ years of longevity."