Jean Louis Chave   Hermitage Blanc

2010 Hermitage Blanc

By Jean-Louis Chave

2010 Hermitage Blanc from Jean-Louis Chave, Rhone

In the grand echelons of world-class white wines, the 2010 Hermitage Blanc from Jean-Louis Chave securely grasps its seat. Within the unique confluence of desirable climatic conditions in Rhone during 2010, Jean-Louis Chave has masterfully crafted an investment-worthy vintage with distinctive attributes that distinguish it markedly from others in its lineage.

 

An Exhibition of Expert Viticulture and Vinification

Hermitage wines are renowned for their power and extravagant depths, but what set the 2010 vintage apart were the forces of nature that played out in the Rhone vineyards. The climatic journey started with a severe winter but tumultuously fought back with an exceptional last-minute hot spell that saved the grapes from ordinary destiny.

The result? A wine that's deceptively restrained in its maiden years, slowly revealing a symphony of complex flavors. True to its heritage while boldly reflecting its challenging yet rewarding growing year, the 2010 Hermitage Blanc tips a nod to both tradition and innovation.

 

Glorious Terroir Confluence

The coming together of varied soil types across Hermitage Hill, presented Jean-Louis Chave with a diverse palette of Marsanne grapes—each expressing unique characteristics of their place within this revered terroir. The cool granite sub-soil helping to maintain acidity levels, clay providing depth of flavour and limestone conferring minerality and elegance - this all combined in a perfect storm for winemaking.

 

A Promise Fulfilled Through Patience

The palate begins coyly with poise and reticence; only on careful unveiling does the wine reveal whispering notes of almond, honeysuckle, and apricots complemented by a bountiful honeycomb mid-palate. This age-worthy vintage is one for the patient collector - as time winds forward, the 2010 Hermitage Blanc promises unfolding layers of complexity, a prized attribute amongst wine investors seeking out wines with provenance and longevity.

Looking beyond the velvet layer of pleasure that this wine amply delivers, it stands as a testament to an exceptional vintage year in Rhone. It weaves its narrative now and will continue to do so into the future, making this 2010 Hermitage Blanc from Jean-Louis Chave not just an exquisite choice for consumption but also a year worth investing in.

Current market price

$4,910.00

12x75cl

Highest score

97

POP score

172.94

Scores and tasting notes

97

As for the 2010 Hermitage Blanc, it is an exquisite wine with fabulous fruit intensity. Lots of acacia flower, anise, quince, fig and pineapple intermixed with a hint of white peaches emerge from this well-delineated, full-bodied, enormously endowed, complex, dry white Hermitage. This wine lives up to the reputation bestowed on it by President Thomas Jefferson when he said in the 1780s that white Hermitages were France’s greatest white wine. The 2010 should drink well for 30-40+ years. I have had the privilege of tasting at this brilliant family-owned estate for over 30 years. During that time, I have seen first-hand the glory of a true evolution from father Gerard Chave to his son, Jean-Louis, and of course, the Chave family has been doing this since 1472. It is one of those small but world-class wine enterprises that is truly inspiring. Tasting through the different vineyards before their newest red and white Hermitages are blended is an education in the different terroirs of that famous dome of largely decomposed granite mixed with gravel and clay. Jean-Louis Chave characterized the 2011 vintage as challenging, where one had to perform draconian crop-thinning and selections in the winery. All the St.-Joseph vineyards are located on steep hillsides near the Chaves’ home village of Mauves, to as far north as St.-Jean de Muzols and Ste.-Epine as well as those once known as Clos Florentin. Importer: Langdon-Shiverick, Los Angeles, CA; tel. (213) 483-5900

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 26 December 2012

Vintage performance