Transcendence: 2008 Chave Hermitage Rouge

Posted by Ian McFadden

2008 Chave Hermitage Rouge

This is a wine that you have to taste, because it confounds vintage charts and the one-liner vintage reports.

This wine simply transcends the vintage. It's a wine that speaks for itself, and it's worth listening to.

For me, Chave's Hermitage is one of the great wines of the world. No doubt, Chave is lucky enough to possess choice parcels in Hermitage, which basically amounts to holy ground for Syrah. But if you were to line up the best of Hermitage, Chave would stand way above the rest. In terms of outright nobility and soulfulness, Chave is without peer.

The simple explanation is that 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 and have been shocked by how successful Chave was. The only producer who had comparable success is Thierry Allemand.

The 2008 is a not a grandly scaled version of Chave's Hermitage, and honestly it'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 that 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.

I love wines like Chave's 2008 Hermitage. They overturn my preconceived notions and shock me. I know that I should expect nothing less from Chave, but still this bottle is eye-opening. I'm very happy to offer at this sharp price.

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

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