Jean Louis Chave   Hermitage Blanc

2004 Hermitage Blanc

By Jean-Louis Chave

2004 Hermitage Blanc by Jean-Louis Chave, Rhone, Rest of the World

This 2004 Hermitage Blanc from Jean-Louis Chave illustrates a precise blend of tradition and innovation, leverage for any serious wine investor. Masterfully drawing from the ancient vines from the celebrated Rhone region, Jean-Louis Chave has woven significant depth and complexity into every bottle.

 

Culled Complexity: The Taste of Heritage

The 2004 Hermitage Blanc from Jean-Louis Chave presents fascinating facets of multiple layers, which the astute investor could compare to carefully assembling the components of a diverse, resilient portfolio. The vintage is a living demonstration that even in the often-overlooked realm of white Rhone, there are rewards for patient accumulation.

It opens with an inviting nose rich in aromas of nectarines and forest honey. On the palate, this Hermitage Blanc unfolds beautifully, revealing layers of apricots, crisp pear, and toasted almonds, deftly interwoven with nuances of marzipan and subtle spices.

 

2004 - An Exemplary Vintage

2004 was a distinguished year for Hermitage Blanc from Jean-Louis Chave. With no shortage of favourable climatic circumstances during this vintage, conditions permitted the grapes to reach perfect ripeness, without losing their crucial acidity structure. This resulted in wines that are impeccably balanced on the palate—a balance that is a key factor in their capacity for long-term ageing.

This reflects in this exceptional white blend's ageing potential—another factor making it a worthwhile investment. The 2004 continues to flourish as it matures, providing ample proof that patience is sometimes the wisest investment strategy.

 

A Fine Wine Worth its Weight in Gold

Experiencing this wine is similar to understanding the tapestry of precedence, persistence, and potential that wines offer as investments. The dialogue between tradition and innovation, the balance of factors that contribute to its quality and potential for ageing, all mirrors those that a wise investor weighs.

The 2004 Hermitage Blanc from Jean-Louis Chave is an eloquent articulation of Rhone Valley's compelling fruit, nurtured by a vintage year and cultivated by a producer whose detail-oriented approach signals a promising return on investment.

Market price (SGD)

$5,630.00

12x75cl

Highest score

95

POP score

224.67

Scores and tasting notes

95

The 2004 Hermitage blanc, which hit 15% natural alcohol, is another superb effort, continuing a succession of totally profound white Hermitages from 2003, 2004, and 2005. As many readers know, this small family producer has been making wine in Hermitage since 1481! The 2004 (about 1000 cases) reveals a light gold color, terrific finesse and elegance in spite of its enormous power, unctuosity, and richness. Of course, it is not as honeyed as the otherworldly 2003 (which hit 16% natural alcohol) but it is an amazingly full-bodied, powerful wine with pervasive honeysuckle, peach liqueur, and nectarine notes intermixed with licorice, quince, and acacia flowers. This is gorgeous wine which should evolve for 20-25 years. I reviewed them last year and gave them perfect scores, but before leaving the cellars, I had the privilege of retasting the 2003 red Hermitage (about 16% natural alcohol) and the 2003 red Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin (2400 bottles produced, and the Chaves aren’t sure whether they will ever release the wine commercially). Both wines exhibited extraordinary richness and possess a singularly profound identity, but I couldn’t swallow them without saluting a lost friend. Steve “The Ho” Verlin, who often visited Chave with me, tragically passed away a year ago at a very young age. Among all the great wines he loved, bought, drank, and celebrated, some of his favorites were the wines of Chave. We had tasted the 2003s here together when they were infants, and again when they were in bottle, utterly perfect. I like to think Steve was here in spirit, enjoying the moment and standing next to me and the Chaves. Here’s to you, Steve! People still obsess about the red wines of Chave, but of course his whites are spectacular as well, and as I have always said, one of the most educational stops on my trips is tasting through the different cuvees that emerge from separate sites on the hills of Hermitage. Importer: Langdon-Shiverick, Cleveland, OH; tel. (216) 861-6800

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 29 April 2007

Vintage performance