Jean Louis Chave   Hermitage Blanc

2012 Hermitage Blanc

By Jean-Louis Chave

The 2012 Hermitage Blanc from Jean-Louis Chave, Rhone: A Creamy Brilliance with Exquisite Depth

The distinction and class of the 2012 Hermitage Blanc from Jean-Louis Chave cannot be overstated. In a vintage characterized by an elongated continental climate - convolutes of soft rainy spells followed by periods of generous sunshine- the golden liquid emerged as if from a painter's palette, nurtured by the Rhone valley's flawless terroir.

 

Hermitage blanc reaching new heights

Exhibiting classic Jean-Louis Chave's prowess, the Hermitage Blanc selection represents an ensemble of skillfully aged Marsanne vines. The entire season was a masterclass in winemaking, presenting itself as an aficionado’s collectible and underlining its investment potential.

As we decipher every note of this liquid gold, delicate wafts of honey, almond, and quince blossom in harmony with more intense notes of smoke, warm toasted brioche, dried herbs, and wet stone. My guests find such intricate complexity mesmerizing!

 

2012 - a standout year within the Rhone landscape

The Rhone region saw a particularly amiable 2012 growing season. The fluctuating climatic conditions guided the region's grape crops to ripen to their utmost capacity while retaining finesse. Notably, the intensity drawn from Summer led to a Hermitage Blanc imbued with optimum ripeness and gordian complexity.

In tasting this dignified vintage, one can immerse in the authentic rustic charm that graces every bottle from this serene part of Rhone. There's a lustrous medley of creamy richness tamed by bright acidity that serves as a conspicuous counterpoint to the opulent Marsanne texture. The wine laboriously tightropes ripe flavour notes of pear, apricot, hazelnut, and candle wax, an artful underpinning to its investment allure.

The 2012 Hermitage Blanc from Jean-Louis Chave, then, delivers much more than just an injection of elegance into one's portfolio. An investment in this meticulous vintage is an investment in a legacy of winemaking par excellence.

Current market price

$3,850.00

12x75cl

Highest score

96

POP score

196.88

Scores and tasting notes

96

Much more open, fleshy and sexy, the 2012 Hermitage Blanc was just bottled a month prior to this tasting. Coming from l’Ermite, Les Rocoules, Maison Blanche and Peleat lieux-dits, it’s always a rough blend of 80% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne that’s aged in barrel. Loaded with notions of honeysuckle, orange marmalade, powered rock, buttered citrus and green almond, it’s full-bodied, rich, upfront and fruit loaded. While I think it will be a relatively accessible early in its life, it has the concentration to hold for two decades.

Jeb Dunnuck - The Wine Advocate, 29 December 2014

Vintage performance