The Chave family have been making wine in the Northern Rhone Valley since 1481. First in Saint Joseph, and then adding parcels of Hermitage - the appellation with which they are nearly synonymous. Jean-Louis Chave steers the domain, having taken over from his father the Gerard (one of just a few Chave men not named Jean-Louis in a very long line). Jean-Louis is fanatical about the farming in the vineyards, the preservation of the reputation of Hermitage and Saint Joseph, and the telling of their histories. Jean-Louis knows each parcel of the vineyards intimately and uses the grapes from each like instruments in an orchestra to bring about pure wine magic.
"As usual, the 2019 Hermitage remained largely as separate components at the time of my visit. Some pre-blending had occurred, so I tasted a combination of Beaumes and Péléat, as well as components from L'Ermite, Méal and Bessards. Uniformly full-bodied, concentrated and long, with rich, velvety tannins, dark-fruit flavors (cassis, blueberries, boysenberries) and hints of crushed stone and licorice, comparisons with 2003 aren't unreasonable."