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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!

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 

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

Trail Estate Gamay Noir VQA Ontario 2014

Trail Estate Gamay Noir VQA Ontario 2014 

Trail Estate Gamay Noir VQA Ontario 2014 

Light but young garnet color. Nose of sweet red berries, earth and spices. Flavors of sour and slightly sweet red fruit like sour cherries, cranberries, rhubarb and spices. Felt different from other Gamay I had from Ontario, it was vibrant, a little on the charming side, but I gladly enjoyed it! Very good+ (90)

Made from Gamay of fruits coming from the County (65%) and Niagara (35%). Aged 8 months in neutral French oak barrels. Total production of 98 cases. Alcohol level of 13%

Has been sold at the winery for 26,00$

Trail Estate Winery’s website: trailestate.com

Norman Hardie County Gamay VQA Prince Edward County 2014

Norman Hardie County Gamay VQA Prince Edward County 2014 

Norman Hardie County Gamay VQA Prince Edward County 2014 

Light ruby color. To me, this smells typicaly like a County wine with red berries, clay, spices with herbacious and salty notes. Flavors of sour berries with a lively acidity, strawberries, rhubarb, sweet spices and a tart finish that shows an amazing fresh and salty finish. This is a real treat to me. About the same quality of a 2016 Morgon from Marcel Lapierre we had at the same time, even if my heart goes to this wine. Excellent (91)

Made of Gamay. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels. Alcohol level of 10,5% 

Available at the winery for 29,00$

Norman Hardie Winery website: http://www.normanhardie.com

They are represented in Québec by Vin Dame Jeanne: vindamejeanne.com

Duo de gamay

Two Gamay wines – 2016 Marcel Lapierre Morgon and the featured 2014 Norman Hardie County Gamay

Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2016

Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2016 

Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2016 

Medium dark purple-ruby color. Nose where flowers, fresh red berries, earth and spices brings in freshness and balance as fruit ripeness is there. Follows on the palate crunchy and sour-bitter red fruit and a good acidity level. This wine is really fruit forward and with its lenght, everything is there to make this highly enjoyable! There is also, desides immediate satisfaction, depth and structure that makes this cellarable, but only if one have enough self-control not to drank them all quickly! Excellent (91)

Made of Gamay. Natural winemaking. Aged 8 months in 216 liters oak barrels. Alcohol level of 13%

Available in SAQ stores for 32,25$ (Code SAQ : 11305344)

Domaine Marcel Lapierre wines are represented in Québec by Rézin: rezin.com

 

Duo de gamay

Duo de gamay – Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2016 et Norman Hardie County Gamay 2014

Arboleda Carmenere Aconcagua 2015

Arboleda Carmenere Aconcagua 2015

Arboleda Carmenere Aconcagua 2015 

Dark and can’t see through purple color. Nose of dark berries, warm spices, green Bell pepper, bitter chocolate and a hint of smoke and sandy soil. Very silky texture on the palate, it’s balanced, not heavyness here and there’s a light bitterness on the finish. Flavors of black berries, chocolate, light but enjoyable and well blended green notes. Long finish, thid wine would pair well with meat dishes. Good+ (88)

Made of Carmenère. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 10% being new. Alcohol level of 14%

Available in SAQ stores for 21,95$ (Code SAQ : 11331614)

Vina Arboleda’s website: arboledawines.com

Sample proposed by Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits: markanthonywineandspirits.ca