Domaine Bernard Chave

For years Bernard Chave had turned out good honest Crozes Hermitage and a fairly average Hermitage - rustic and rather foursquare. In 1997 his extremely talkative and enthusiastic son Yan took over control and like all good offspring, set about changing what his father had done for years. The family own 1.5ha of Hermitage split between Peleat and Beaumes. One of the first changes that Yan undertook was to move the estate to organic viticulture. Yields were significantly reduced and the harvest was carried out much later. The wines were fermented in temperature controlled vats and the grapes totally de-stemmed.

All the old oak was thrown out and a healthy mixture of new and one to two-year-old oak piece and demi-muids introduced. Tasting from barrel to barrel, it was plainly obvious that Yan was making outstanding wine. In particular his special cuvee of Crozes Hermitage, partly aged in new oak and from old vines grown in the communes of Chassis and Larnage, was superb and, for me, one of the top wines I had tasted from this appellation.
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