Under-the-Radar Chave:
2016 J.L. Chave Sélection Hermitage Blanc Blanche

Posted by Ian McFadden

In 2016, Chave may have produced the greatest Blanche to date.

On paper, the Hermitage Blanc Blanche is a negociant wine. In reality, the truth is much more complicated. 

The Blanche refers to Maison Blanche, a lieu-dit at the top of the Hermitage hill where Chave has old vines. It's from this site that the lion's share of the Blanche comes.

photo of bottle of Chave Hermitage Blanche Selection

Chave's Hermitage Blanc is one of the great and long-lived wines of the world. It is intense, layered, and incredibly complicated.

The Blanche bottling works on a different wavelength. Based on 100% Marsanne, it shows a vigor and snap from its placement high on the hill of Hermitage. While still offering a saturating intensity, the Blanche offers up bright and lifted floral notes. The 2016 is an absolutely stunning vintage. Its marriage of purity and presence, verve, and concentration is impressive. 

The 2016 northern Rhône whites are jaw-droppingly good. I love their impact, finesse, and harmony. While Chave's Blanche bottling isn't structured for decades of aging, like the Hermitage Blanc, we've had great bottles with a decade of age. Everything is in place for the 2016 to age beautifully. 

Chave Hermitage Blanche has long been one of the most overlooked wines in the lineup. The 2016 takes this overachieving wine to a whole new level. 

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

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

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Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media: "Limpid yellow-gold. Fresh pit fruits, lemon curd, jasmine and a frisson of chamomile on the deeply perfumed nose, along with suggestions of honey and succulent herbs. Pliant and energetic on the palate, offering intense peach, pear nectar and Meyer lemon flavors that become livelier as the wine stretches out. A smoky mineral note emerges on the impressively long, energetic finish, which leaves a hint of bitter pear skin behind."