2004 Chave - Hermitage 750ml

France - Northern Rhone - Hermitage/ Red / Syrah
2004 Chave - Hermitage
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International Wine Cellar | 95-96

((tasted from tanks, awaiting final blending. #1) Explosively floral, with remarkable purity and a strong licorice tone. #2: Spicier sample, with strong cherry pit and graphite on the palate and a bright, zesty quality. #3: Solid and chewy, with strong bitter cherry, dark chocolate and tobacco qualities ("this batch gives the wine its skeleton"). #4 (all Peleat): Incredibly sweet and minerally, like a great Griotte-Chambertin, with amazing purity of cherry and raspberry fruit. A great '04 in the making.

Author: Josh Raynolds
Issue: Issue 130

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Jancis Robinson | 18+

Deep crimson, looks bluer than the Chapoutier. Big and bloody on the nose - very complex. Some liquorice. Heady and rich. Lovely broad palate-covering stuff. Really fills all the corners of the palate. Quite rich and reverberant. Already quite rewarding - quite surprisingly approachable, although there is lots of dusty tannin on the finish. Very complete and subtle. Great balance.

Drink Dates: 2010-2027
Author: Jancis Robinson


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Wine Advocate | 94

The 2004 red Hermitage, which was given a much longer time in barrel and small foudre than normal because the Chaves determined the tannins and the acids needed a longer time to integrate, is a beauty. The wine exhibits a dense ruby/purple color, a big, sweet nose of creme de cassis, black cherry, licorice, pepper, and a hint of olive paste. It is a full-bodied wine that tastes atypical for this vintage with its beautifully integrated acidity and sweet tannin. The wine is structured, more masculine and backward than the over-the-top, full-throttle 2003. Readers could probably think of it as an improved, modern-day version of the 1988 or 1998. 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.

Drink Dates: 2011-2031
Author: Robert Parker
Issue: 170

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Wine Spectator | 95

This red offers a gorgeous beam of currant and fig paste, surrounded by ample supple tannins and notes of coffee, worn leather, violet, licorice snaps and iron. The long, rich finish has nice detail now, but better to cellar this for maximum effect. 3,000 cases made.

Drink Dates: 2008-2022
Author: James Molesworth


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More Vintages and Sizes of Chave - Hermitage:

2011 (750ml)
1999 (750ml)

About This Producer


The Chave family owns vines in nine of the eighteen vineyards that cover the hill of Hermitage. Chave believes that the hillside's variety of terroirs is instrumental in bringing the right balance to its blends. The domaine produces both red and white Hermitage, as well as a St Joseph Offerus. The Hermitage appellation regulations allow up to 15% white grapes to be added to the Syrah, but Chave uses a smaller amount, if any at all (his L'Hermite vineyard has some white grapevines planted alongside the red). The white Hermitage is produced from 85% Marsanne and 15% Roussanne, all of which is harvested by hand. There is also a limited production (approx. 100 cases) Cuvee Cathelin, an Hermitage cuvee named after a friend of the Chave family, artist Bernard Cathelin, who designed the label when it was first released in 1990. Finally, there is an Hermitage Vin de Paille, which is both rare and highly-regarded.

The domaine also has a second line called JL Chave Selection which produces affordable red and white Crozes-Hermitage and Hermitage, as well as a Cotes du Rhone.

See all Northern Rhone producers

See other similar producers: Chateau de Saint Cosme

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