Wine Club O Collection 15 July 2020

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave: top Hermitage and St-Joseph

16th generation Jean-Louis Chave returns to his roots, reviving the modest family holdings in Hermitage where his ancestors first tended vines 500 years ago
Introduction and recommendations by
Matt Walls

The Chave family have long been synonymous with Hermitage, but current owner Jean-Louis Chave has gone back to his roots with a new single-vineyard domaine Saint-Joseph, Clos Florentin.

And those roots go pretty far back. Chave’s ancestors first started growing grapes in 1481, when a local nobleman presented them with the farm and vineyard at Bachasson. It sustained them for centuries, but in the 1870s, like much of France, the Rhône vineyards were decimated by the phylloxera louse. Bachasson wasn’t spared.

The Chave family moved away from Bachasson and into the until-then off-limits Hermitage, from where many grand families moved away after phylloxera struck, preferring to reinvest their fortunes in nascent industries born out of the industrial revolution. It just so happened that the move to Hermitage was, to put it mildly, a good one for the Chave family, who went on to make their name in the famous appellation.

 

Jean-Louis Chave, the 16th generation, has spent the last 25 years rebuilding Bachasson and other forgotten plots. Before now, Chave has blended the wine from these sites together to create a single domaine St-Joseph. The 2015 vintage marks the inaugural bottling of a single-vineyard cuvée, Clos Florentin. The wine is made in the same way as his blended St-Joseph: destemmed, with no new oak. The result is exceptionally refined, with great purity and depth, and marks a new pinnacle of quality for the appellation.

While Chave’s Hermitage wines take 10-15 years to hit maturity and last for decades, his Saint-Joseph wines are typically mature after 6-7 years and will easily develop up to 10 years, perhaps even 15 in good vintages. His Clos Florentin marks a new peak of quality for the appellation, and will no doubt prove just as collectable as his Hermitage bottlings, though at around half the price. The following were tasted with Jean-Louis Chave at the domaine in September 2019.

Top Rated Bottles

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Saint-Joseph, 2015

Score
94
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2027
  • RRP £72
  • Blackberry
  • Juicy
  • Rounded
Learn More

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Saint-Joseph, 2017

Score
93
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2027
  • RRP £82.80
  • Fruity
  • Savoury
  • Woody
Learn More

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Saint-Joseph, 2016

Score
93
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2025
  • RRP £66
  • Black olive
  • Crème de mure
  • Saline
Learn More

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Saint-Joseph, 2011

Score
93
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2023
  • RRP £58
  • Blueberry
  • Tobacco
  • Violet
Learn More

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Saint-Joseph, 2013

Score
92
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2022
  • RRP £55
  • Blackberry
  • Fresh
  • Peppery
Learn More

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Saint-Joseph ‘Clos Florentin’, 2016

Score
95
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2027
  • RRP £76
  • Blackberry
  • Elegant
  • Star anise
Learn More

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Saint-Joseph ‘Clos Florentin’, 2015

Score
95
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2022
  • To 2030
  • RRP £140
  • Blackberry
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
Learn More

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Blanc, 1991

Score
98
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2030
  • RRP £154
  • Chamomile
  • Linden flower
  • Verbena
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Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Blanc, 2016

Score
98
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2045
  • RRP £230
  • Apricot
  • Floral
  • Marzipan
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Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Blanc, 2017

Score
97
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2023
  • To 2050
  • RRP £248
  • Almond
  • Caramel
  • Macadamia
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Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Blanc, 2001

Score
97
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2030
  • RRP £169
  • Citrus
  • Mushroom
  • Pear
Learn More

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Blanc, 2012

Score
95
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2035
  • RRP £184
  • Flowers
  • Honey
  • Quince
Learn More

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Rouge, 2016

Score
97
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2045
  • RRP £251
  • Blackberry
  • Bright
  • Elegant
Learn More

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Rouge, 2005

Score
97
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2022
  • To 2040
  • RRP £405
  • Bold
  • Powerful
  • Ripe
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Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Rouge, 2001

Score
95
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2040
  • RRP £244
  • Black fruit
  • Juniper
  • Leather
Learn More

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Rouge, 2008

Score
94
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2028
  • RRP £194
  • Juniper
  • Raspberry
  • Thyme
Learn More

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Rouge ‘Cuvée Cathelin’, 2000

Score
98
100
Saint-Joseph AOP
  • From 2020
  • To 2050
  • RRP £7,980
  • Berry fruits
  • Potpourri
  • Thyme
Learn More

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