Like the 2012 vintage this is an amazingly smooth and fruity Northern Rhône wine; it could be classified as both a Soft Fruity Red and a Smooth Elegant Red. Its light texture reminds me of a top class Burgundian Pinot Noir; its elegance and balance are typical of the best wines of the Crozes Hermitage appellation, a lighter Rhône wine, once considered the “poor relation” of the region but now seen as a more experimental region with many young producers. Crozes Hermitage generally represents good value in the Northern Rhône and this is a prime example.
Considered one of the best “New Wave” growers in the region, Yann Chave owns 13 hectares in Crozes-Hermitage. His wines have been certified organic since 2008: red grapes are picked late for ripeness; grapes are harvested by hand then destalked to avoid excessive tannins; yields are kept well below the permitted levels for the appellation; vines have an average age of 20 years; no industrial yeasts are used. In his wine-making Yann Chave prefers long maceration and gentle extraction of the juices. The wine is unoaked to preserve the fruit character of the Syrah grape and according to the producer "to make a wine that is fresh and easy to drink".
This wine has the fruit jam and pepperiness typical of Syrah on the nose but they are more subtle than in some Rhône wines. Fresh fruits of the forest, cherries, and damsons are more prominent and there are hints of white pepper and savoury characters. The palate is multi-dimensional with similar bramble fruits, cherries and damsons plus a more evident pepperiness and marzipan and almonds in the background. Tannins are fine, the texture smooth and the body of this wine rather delicate which makes it a very elegant, fruit-filled wine.
Read below what The Wine Advocate (eRobertParker.com) has said about it on the two occasions they have tasted it. The wine is developing and the scores increased on the second occasion. This wine is a beautiful lighter style Rhône wine, full of fruit which makes it great for the summer and with an amazingly smooth texture.
Drink with white meats, duck, game and salmon
"The traditional cuvee is produced from vines grown on the three village terroirs: Mercurol, La Roche de Glun and Pont de l’Isere. There are several plots planted at different times, but the average age of vines is 20 years. The varietal is exclusively Syrah. Leaves are trimmed around the fruit for optimal exposure to sunlight, and grapes are harvested by hand. As with our white wines, we do not use industrial yeasts.
Grapes are de-stemmed, and we allow the vinification temperature to warm up gradually from 20˚ to 30˚C, which we maintain, to achieve optimal extraction. Vatting lasts 3 weeks on average, pumping over twice a day, and we always try to wet the whole surface of the cap. Ageing is in tank to preserve the fruit character, without the addition of oak."
87-89 points eRobertParker.com Dec 2015
“What should end up being good value, the 2014 Crozes Hermitage offers plenty of plum, blackberry and sappy herb aromatics to go with a medium-bodied, juicy, lively and fresh style on the palate. Where a lot of 2014s from Crozes have a hole in the middle, it has solid fruit, good mid-palate depth and enough fine tannin to keep it drinking nicely for 5-7 years.”
87 points eRobertParker.com Oct 2015
"The young Yann Chave’s 2014 Crozes Hermitage is a good, mid-weight effort that has plenty of blueberry, raspberry, balsam wood and dried violet notes in its medium-bodied, forward and easy drinking personality. It has fine tannin, but I suspect it’s best consumed over the coming 3-4 years.
Yann Chave took over from his father, Bernard Chave, in 2001, renaming the estate at that time to Yann Chave. Today it covers just over 15 hectares in Crozes Hermitage and 1.2 hectares in Hermitage."