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Special Tasting: 1992 JL Chave Hermitage Rouge

By Kerry Winslow

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1992 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage, Rhone Red. (Syrah)
This was very special, I knew I was a very lucky to taste this wine, as it is not often you get a chance to try vintage Chave and while 1992 was not a great year, I enjoyed this rare chance to sample one of France’s great wines. Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage wines are legends, and recently I had read Neal Martin’s great article in the Wine Journal about older Chave and was left mouthwatering for just this chance, and I was not disappointed I can tell you, in fact even with all my expectations this 1992 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge proved remarkably seductive and beautiful with delicate details and plenty of live and energy. The nose was bright still, but with mature notes of dried roses, black tea and stewed plums leading to an earthy and fresh palate of cherry, mountain berries, mushroom, mineral, licorice, lavender and a meaty essence with a touch of smoke. The tannins were silky smooth and the finish was lengthy, though a touch crisp. Everything played well together and was in balance with subtle complexities and elegance not unlike a fine old Burgundy Grand Cru. Hermitage and Syrah can prove magically and this wine takes you there, it is a sublime expression of the terroir and the grape, a big thanks to Farm Wines for sharing this experience with me.
($N/A) 93+ Points, grapelive

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