Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave

Tasting of 2013 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage wines or when wine bring silence into a room…

Why say such a thing? First, let’s take a moment and talk about what is the Domaine Jean-Louis Chave.

Among the great wines of the world, within the French wine elite, the Hermitage appellation sitting in Northern Rhone Valley are ranking at the top of this scale with Chave being one of the best ones.

The story

The Domaine Chave is a family story since 1481 and 16 generations have run this house since its beginning, from father to son. They started producing wines in Saint-Joseph and it’s been only about a century since they established themselves on the hills of Hermitage to move away from phylloxera that had damaged their other vineyards.

They now own about 15 hectares of vines spread out on many climates (or areas) of the Hermitage hills and when vinified, they are blended together to produce one amazing wine of each color. There is no single parcel wine nor special cuvees. Just the best of what Hermitage can offer, either in white or red!

They may be hard to find and not the cheapest wines around, but how could one refuse to have them when so kindly offered!

Following a tasting in the offices of their agency, the following wines were poured to help this another busy year to end on the best note possible.

The wines

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2013

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2013

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2013

Medium dense gold color. Aromas of hay, honey with some fruit and oak notes. There is a real depth to that nose, but at the same time, it’s so hard to put words on my impressions. On the palate, the balance between the well-integrated oak that acts like a support to the fruit and spices flavors is so impressive. And I’m not even talking about the everlasting finish! This is what amazed me the most about this wine. Excellent+ (92)

Blend of Marsanne (85%) and Roussanne (15%). Haven’t found any details about the oak ageing. Alcohol level of 14,5%

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge 2013

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge 2013

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge 2013

Dark and can’t see through color. Elegantly and deep nose as I’ve so rarely felt before. Way more aromatic than the white Hermitage was. Aromas of pepper, bacon fat, flowers, red and dark berries, then smoke and old wooden floors are just mind blowing. On the palate the wine is dense, long, of medium amplitude with flavors of smoked meat, flowers and oak. Again, the finish is everlasting. Amazing wine, there is no other way to describe it. Superb+ (94)

Blend of Syrah (85%) and white grapes (15%). Aged in a mix of oak vats and barrels with a proportion is new for 12 to 18 months. Alcohol level of 14,5%

The Domaine Jean-Louis Chave website : hermite.fr/domaine-jean-louis-chave

Their agency here in Québec is Réserve & Sélection / Trialto : trialto.com

 

Thank you!

2017 en vin - Revue de l'année par Dans mon verre

My 2017 in wine

My 2017 in wine

Another year review? Of course! But don’t worry, it won’t be my Top 10 favorite wines, bubbles or beers, even if I like to write some from time to time.

What if we were just talking about wine? From great to less good moments in wine that happened in 2017?

Visite chez Hinterland

Tasting sparkling wines while visiting Hinterland in Prince Edward County

First observation on 2017 wine-wise

In 2017 the wine took another path or route for me. I kept writing here as I do for more than 3 years now and that allowed me to taste hundreds of wine at home, during events or at different wineries I’ve visited through the year.

And then came the desire to do something else while still keeping a feet into the wine’s world.

Of course I like meeting all kind of people, to hear what they have to say, to have a better understanding of their vision in regards of producing, distributing or serving wines. To get the “why” behind all of that. That’s actually my favorite part of being a blogger!

Writing on wine is still something I want and will do, don’t worry, I have to share this passion for this amazing drink, right?

What 2017 brought to my vision of wine

2017 saw coming up those moments where all I wanted to do was drinking wine as it was what I needed at that time. What does it means? Not getting wasted while drinking like I have no control of myself! That’s not me and it’ll never, I am way too reasonable for that 😉

Dégustation avec Nathan Kendall

Tasting Nathan Kendall wine + one bottle I brought for the occasion!

That being said, it also have results on my relationship with wine. Almost stop buying expensive wines and drinking a lot less of them, even if the cellar is full of wine. What I wanted was pure highly drinkable fruit juice, and that’s exactly what I had as much as possible in my glass.

This is not where I’ll go with my Natural Wine propaganda or against all wines that are or looks like they’ve been made industrially. I must say though that I do try to drink as clean as possible and that I might be partially falling for more naturally made wines. Drinking wines that feels alive, vibrant, that have their own personality.

Still, my truth is found in the glass; either the wine is good or bad and that’s the way I’ll keep using to judge wines as I’ve always did!

Will keep drinking the wines made by friends, wines from here in Québec or from Ontario or regions I’ve visited like the Finger Lakes or Long Island in New York State. The type of wine I’ve been drinking have changed over the years and especially since I’ve started this blog. I’m drinking more local (that’s where wines from Québec and Ontario are useful) and the wines from the producers and winemakers I’m meeting are taking a great share of those bottles I’m opening day after day.

Domaine du Nival, vue des vignes d'Albariño

View from the Albariño vines on the top of a hill at Domaine du Nival

My Top 10 moments where wine played a role

There is no way though that I’ll be forgetting all these moments where wine was poured and enjoyed. Last year was rich of these moments.

Here are some of wines and moments that happened in 2017:

  • Meeting François, the winemaker behind Pearl-Morissette and tasting all type of wines for more than two hours while listening him talking about his passion, his vision of what a wine should and should not be. From his “vin primeur” to orange, blends, Gamays (of course!) and his Solera type of wine that was simply stunning!
Visite chez Pearl Morissette - Francois et moi

François and moi during a visit at Pearl Morissette

  • Opening and drinking a magnum of the 2014 County Chardonnay Cuvée Les Amis from Norman Hardie Winery when a good friend came back around. A pairing that can only be dreamed of!
Norman Hardie Cuvée des Amis Unfiltered VQA Prince Edward County 2014

2014Norman Hardie County Chardonnay Cuvée des Amis

  • These “Beaujolais” times at the VV Taverna with Rézin Sélection where I got the opportunity to meet Agnès Foillard from Domaine Jean Foillard and Mathieu Lapierre from Domaine Marcel Lapierre, and taste their wines of course! Really great moments of learning and talking Gamay, especially as a fan of that grape variety!
Foillard avec RéZin à la VV Taverna

Foillard tasting with RéZin at la VV Taverna

  • The 2008 Pinot Noir face-off during a wedding anniversary dinner (ours and the one of our good friends) between a County wine from Norman Hardie and a Morey-St-Denis from Domaine Dujac… with a surprising and crushing win from the Norman Hardie Pinot!
Norman Hardie County Pinot Noir 2008 VS Domaine Dujac Morey-Saint-Denis 2008

2008 Pinot Noir battle:  Norman Hardie from PEC VS  Dujac Morey-Saint-Denis

  • All the tastings of sparkling wines at Hinterland. Always good time while popping a few bottles with Jonas! And what about the food from Neil at County Road Beer, the adjacent beer joint from the same owners. I miss those right now! Have to say that our three visits there were quite delightful and enjoyable!
  • Tasting with Nathan Kendall while visiting the Finger Lakes area. Amazing region and tasty wines. Will have to go back! Would love to taste the new Chepika Wine sparkling wine made of hybrid varietals Nathan is making with the help of Pascaline Lepeltier MS.
  • The camping trip we did on Labor Day weekend under pouring rain where wines from Domaine du Nival and Pinard & Filles made it way more enjoyable!
Pinard et Filles Frangin 2016

Pinard et Filles Frangin 2016 – Parfait en camping!

  • My visits in local wineries. Quality is there, the amount of work huge, same as their passion and intentions of making world-class wines. Gotta drink these wines to help them achieve their goals! Special tumbs up to Domaine du Nival, Pinard & Filles and the Vignoble Les Pervenches. They are rocking Québec’s wine scene and I want to go back to each of them in 2018!
  • The harvest period in October in the beautiful Prince Edward County with Grange of Prince Edward and Trail Estate Winery. Their wines, the food, the place. Everything is simply magical!
Vendanges chez Trail Estate

Harvest at Trail Estate – Credits: Tania Fitzpatrick

  • Drinking some Saignée de Sorbée Champagne from Vouette & Sorbée during my first visit ever at Vin Papillon owned by Joe Beef (after having a glass of “vin primeur” from Pinard & Filles) with Dave, Vanya, Alex and Jared.

What about 2018 now?

I’m pretty sure 2018 will bring in many other great wine moments, but more visits and talks with wine people and less of the wine shows. I’ll be focusing on the people that makes us drink, sell or make wine!

Stay tuned also for my alternate project as I’ll be putting online a new blog, called gamay.ca that will be focusing on wines from all around made of that grape (as I don’t want to overflow this one with too many Gamay wines…), but also my Facebook page  Vignerons & Amateurs des vins du Québec that will be all about drinking local wines!

Gamay.ca

Gamay grapes at Grange of Prince Edward

Keep having fun, drink less but better!

 

 

Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 2014

Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 2014

Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 2014

Light, young and translucid garnet color. Aromas of spicy red berries, smoke and elegant yet subtle oak notes. Even if it shows its youth on the palate, there is fruit flavors, noble green notes, some oak, spices and a light bittterness on the finish. Glad I’ve opened one, even happier as I have more in the cellar!

In the end I had this bottle over five days (drank the first half on the first night, then a small glass over the following days. Kept it in a cool place under Vacuvin preserver stopper) and it kept getting better day after day. Really enjoyed this wine. Excellent (91)

Made of Pinot Noir grapes. Alcohol level of 13,5%

Was sold in Québec through a Courrier Vinicole event for 53,00$ (Code SAQ: 13006161)

For more informations on Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet: idealwine.net

 

Château Lafon-Rochet 4e Grand Cru Classé Saint-Estèphe 2004

Château Lafon-Rochet 4e Grand Cru Classé Saint-Estèphe 2004 

Château Lafon-Rochet 4e Grand Cru Classé Saint-Estèphe 2004 

Dark garnet color. The depth from the nose gives black fruit notes, spicesearthsmoke and just a hint of burnt wood and red berries that brings in some freshness. Round and silky palate feelslowly polished by the years of cellaring, but still gives the impression that it’s far from over. Slightly crisp finish with remanescance of the strenght this wine had before. The flavors are of the same type as the aromas with the addition of salty notes on the finish.  Very satisfying for a wine bought 8-9 years ago. Excellent (91) 

Made of 51% Merlot, 46% Cabernet-Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc. Aged 16 to 18 months in oak barrels, 50% being new. Alcohol level of 13%

Château Lafon-Rochet’s website: lafon-rochet.com 

Château Lafon-Rochet 4e Grand Cru Classé Saint-Estèphe 2004

Château Lafon-Rochet 4e Grand Cru Classé Saint-Estèphe 2004

Baron de Ley Reserva Rioja 2012

Baron de Ley Reserva Rioja 2012 

Baron de Ley Reserva Rioja 2012 

Dark and purple color. Nose of black berries, coffee, bitter chocolate, spices and oak. Dense and powerful on the palate, the vanilla filled finish does bring some charm to the wine. Bold but still expresses fruit flavors, spices and coffee notes. May be a little on the young side, but some air or few years in a cellar and it’ll just good to go! Very good (89)

Made of Tempranillo. Aged 20 months in American oak barrels, then 24 months in bottle prior to release. Alcohol level of 13,5% 

The 2013 vintage of this wine is available in SAQ stores for 21,45$ (Code SAQ : 00868729) 

Baron de Ley’s website: barondeley.com 

Sample proposed by Les Sélections Fréchette: selectionsfrechette.com 

Rioja’s wine consortium: riojawine.com

Fratelli Alessandria Dolcetto d'Alba 2015

Fratelli Alessandria Dolcetto d’Alba 2015 

Fratelli Alessandria Dolcetto d’Alba 2015 

Ruby-purple colorNose of wild berries, cherries, plumearthspices and some flower notes. Flavors are about the same as the aromaswith extra notes of crushed black berries. This is expressive, joyful, round, fruit loaded and lifted by a good acidityWhat a tasty treat! Very good (89)

Made of Dolcetto. Aged in stainless / cement tanks for 5 to 7 months. Alcohol level of 13,5%

Still available in SAQ stores for 21,95$ (Code SAQ : 11580186) 

Fratelli Alessandria’s website: fratellialessandria.it 

They are represented in Québec by Oenopole: oenopole.ca 

Here’s a link to a post that followed a tasting-meeting with Vittore Alessandria: dansmonverre.ca/fratelli-alessandria/

Fratelli Alessandria Dolcetto d'Alba 2015

Fratelli Alessandria Dolcetto d’Alba 2015

Malivoire Gamay Niagara Peninsula 2015

Malivoire Gamay Niagara Peninsula 2015 

Malivoire Gamay Niagara Peninsula 2015 

Medium dark ruby color. Fine but shy nose of flowers, cherries and earth. Way more expressive on the palate with an explosion of red fruits, ground cherries, dried flowers and a bold and present spiciness. Just long and concentrated enough, it stays fresh and refreshing due to its good acidity level. Again a bottle that went empty the minute it was open! Very good+ (90)

Made of Gamay.  71% of the wine went through malolactic fermentation and was aged in 75% French and 25% American oak barrels for 10 months. Alcohol level of 12,%5

Available in SAQ stores for 19,50$ (Code SAQ :  11140498) 

Malivoire’s website: malivoire.com 

Sample proposed by Le Maître de Chai: maitredechai.ca

Malivoire Gamay Niagara Peninsula 2015

Malivoire Gamay Niagara Peninsula 2015

Domaine du Cros Lo Sang del Païs Marcillac 2015

Domaine du Cros Lo Sang del Païs Marcillac 2015 

Domaine du Cros Lo Sang del Païs Marcillac 2015 

Ruby color with purple hue. Bloody and meaty yet showing freshnessberries and spices notes. Crunchy fruit flavors on the palate with more dark berries than red oneswith some sweet spicesmeat notes and everything for a wine to pair well with BBQ grilled meat dishes. Good+ (88)

Made of 100% Fer Servadou. Aged in stainless tanks. Alcohol level of 12,5% 

Available in SAQ stores for 16,80$ (Code SAQ : 00743377) 

Domaine du Cros website : domaine-du-cros.com 

Sample proposed by Trialto: trialto.com 

Pierre Gerbais Grains de Celles Champagne Extra Brut

Pierre Gerbais Grains de Celles Champagne Extra Brut 

Pierre Gerbais Grains de Celles Champagne Extra Brut 

Light gold colorNose of freshly baked bread, green appleslemon and an obvious salty scentCreamy and vinous at first when you take a sip, the acidity and salty freshness kicks in after to bring tension on the finish, this is quite enjoyable and clearly on the QPR side as it is affordable for a Champagne of that quality! Excellent (91)

Made of 50% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Blanc and 25% Chardonnay. Aged on its lees in tanks, then on lattes for 30 months before disgorgement. Dosage of 3-4g/l. Alcohol level of 12% 

Available in SAQ stores for 46,50$ (Code SAQ : 13212141) 

Pierre Gerbais website: gerbais.com 

Oenopole is the agency that represents them in Québec: oenopole.ca

Pierre Gerbais Grains de Celles Champagne Extra Brut_2

Pierre Gerbais Grains de Celles Champagne Extra Brut

Baron de Ley Grand Reserva Rioja 2010

Baron de Ley Grand Reserva Rioja 2010 

Baron de Ley Grand Reserva Rioja 2010 

Dark garnet colorDepth and dense nose where berry notes goes along with spices and oak. On the palate the structure and the rectitude of the wine are almost overpowering the flavors by being a little severe, but air did brought up dark berriesspicesearth and oak flavors. May feel more dense than complex at this stage, but shows a good ageing potential for up to 15 more years. More classic styled Rioja wine which I like. Very good+ (90)

Made of 100% Tempranillo. Aged 24 months in 50% American oak and 50% French oak, then 5 years in bottle prior to release. Alcohol level of 13,5%

Still available in some SAQ stores for 34,00$ (Code SAQ : 00738997 

Baron de Ley’s website: barondeley.com 

Sample proposed by Les Sélections Fréchette: selectionsfrechette.com