Hermitage Rouge, J-L Chave 2012


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Tasting Notes

One of the more charming and forward efforts from Chave, the 2012 Hermitage sports a mostly opaque purple color to go with classic creme de cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with notions of lead pencil shavings, violets and powdered rocks. Deep, full-bodied and sumptuously textured, with good freshness, this pure, elegant Hermitage shows more and more definition and cut with time in the glass, but never loses it's more fruit forward, charming profile. I suspect it will drink nicely for most of its life.

Score: 96Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (222), December 2015

Looking at the 2012 Hermitage, which is still resting in barrels and getting ready to be bottled, it's a much more classic, easy to read Hermitage that has lots of ripe, sweet fruit in its full-bodied, concentrated, textured profile. It has copious sweet blackberry and cassis fruit, violet and serious granite-like minerality, superb mid-palate depth and a focused, structured finish. It's a beautiful, classy 2012 that will have 20-25+ years of longevity.

Score: 94/97Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (216), December 2014

Presented as components from four different barrels: #1, from Beaume: Exotic scents of candied licorice, dark berries and smoky Indian spices. Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the middle, displaying superb depth to its bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors. #2, from Peleat: Explosive red fruit and potpourri aromas, with a bright mineral overtone. Silky and sweet, offering vibrant raspberry and cherry compote flavors and a touch of bitter chocolate. The red fruit note echoes strongly on the back half. #3, from Meal: Fleshier and rounder than the first two components, offering plush dark berry and violet flavors that coat the palate. Chewy tannins build on the finish and fold smoothly into the wine's dense fruit. #4, from Bessards: Emphatic mineral and dark berry aromas pick up a sexy floral note and a hint of cola. Sappy, penetrating and sharply focused, displaying an impressive array of red fruit and floral qualities and strong finishing spiciness. Jean-Louis Chave told me he thinks this wine will be "classic Hermitage with an emphasis on fruit, not structure, but not lacking in structure at all--just compared to, say, 2010 and 2005."

Score: 95/97Josh Raynolds, vinous.com, March 2014

Les Beaumes was muscular, round, rich and substantial. Very long-term wine with lots of chew yet with sap, power and roundness. Péléat was pure, transparent pepper. Sweet, easy, lifted and transparently nervy. Méal (14%) was particularly dark ruby with sinews, structure and masses of tannin. L'Hermite, usually the last to be picked, was extremely complex on the nose as well as being particularly big and beefy yet had admirable freshness. Bessards JL Chave regards as perhaps the most typical of Hermitage - very powerful with a dry finish and an admirable spine.

Score: 19Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, November 2013

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.