More Vintages and Sizes of Chave - Hermitage:
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International Wine Cellar
Author: Josh Raynolds
Issue: Issue 173
This wine was still broken out into five different pre-blended components when I visited in November but should be in bottle by now. #1: Intense red fruit and floral qualities, with a bright mineral underpinning. #2: Wilder and spicier, with zesty red fruit and star anise nuances and a touch of smokiness. #3: More dark and brooding, showing powerful bitter cherry and cassis qualities and strong back-end power. #4: Distinctly mineral-driven, precise red fruit and floral pastille aromas and flavors, with a deeper note of cola in the background. #5: Powerful cassis and bitter cherry aromas and flavors pick up spiciness and floral character with a little air. The most densely packed of these samples but showing surprising finishing vivacity and cut. Jean-Louis thinks that this wine "will be a little strict" for a while after bottling and hopes that people don't jump too quickly into it simply because 2011 is perceived as an easy vintage.
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Author: Jeb Dunnuck
The 2011 Hermitage (also still in barrel), in comparison, is more focused and straight, with a slightly more serious feel to its tannin profile and overall structure. All of the samples (again, tasted in individual components) were beautifully perfumed, with the Les Bessards (which will make up the bulk of the blend) showing surprising density and concentration in a vintage that generally produced more up-front and supple wines. A serious 2011 that will certainly be one of the stars of the vintage, it should be reasonably approachable on release and have an easy two decades of longevity.
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