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This is an amazingly smooth and fruity Northern Rhône wine from 100% Syrah or Shiraz; 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; 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 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.
This wine is a beautiful lighter style Rhône wine, full of fruit and with an amazingly smooth texture.
Drink with white meats, duck, game and salmon. The producer suggests "Young pan-roasted pigeon served with buttered Savoy cabbage, pan-fried rump steak with mashed potato, shavings of mature Mimolette cheese."
"This wine is the backbone of the Estate, and is built around the three main identities of the Crozes-Hermitage appellation: La Roche de Glun, Mercurol and Pont de l'Isère. From this spectrum of plots of Syrah, the wine reflects the identity of the vintage, in the true spirit of the Crozes-Hermitage appellation: fruit, brilliance, elegance... what else!
Colour: deep purple colour with a purple hue.
Nose: an expressive nose marked by black fruit, such as blackcurrant or cassis. A hint of mint may be observed when the wine is left to breathe.
Palate: the palate is rich and generous. Aromas of black fruit develop with intensity. Velvety tannins give this wine delicious fullness, with a hint of freshness on the finish."
90 points RobertParker.com Dec 2018
“Pretty consistent year after year, Yann Chave's 2017 Crozes Hermitage continues that tradition. It's fruit forward, marked by black cherry and raspberry aromas and flavors, but includes enough savory black olive notes to maintain a sense of complexity and balance. Medium to full-bodied, it has a velvety feel and a long, spice-driven finish that should ensure pleasure through at least 2023.”
16 points JancisRobinson.com Nov 2018
Elegant and fruit-filled, this wine’s lovely smooth texture makes it very sophisticated and a wine to be savoured