2020 J.L. Chave Selection, Côtes-du-Rhône “Mon Coeur” Rhône Valley, France.
The dark and complex 2020 J.L. Chave Sélection Côtes-du- Rhône “Mon Coeur” is crafted from a mix of varietals, with usually close to 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% of Mourvèdre and Cinsault, all from a unique areas in the Vaucluse, including Visan, Vinsobres, Cairanne and Rasteau, all historic Rhône terroirs, with vines between 20 and 60 years old on mostly clay and limestone soils. This vintage is ultra deep and luxurious on the palate, with the Syrah clearly in evidence with loads of blueberry, violets and cassis on the full bodied palate, making for a wine that way over delivers for the price, as you’d expect from one the wold’s great vignerons. As it opened in the glass and accompanying the meal, there was more thick Grenache fruit, plum, boysenberry and cherry and the tannin melted away nicely and allowed fabulous concentration and pleasure to flow, as well as a subtle lift of acidity, savory notes, grilled herbs de Provence, licorice and peppery spices. Definitely a serious vintage for the Chave Mon Coeur, making it a savvy buy as always, it will appeal to those that are bargain hunters and those that typically grab Gigondas and Vacqueyras reds. I have been drinking Mon Coeur since the early 2000s, so it’s weird I hardly mention it, when it is such an excellent choice, my bad.

One of France’s most celebrated and respected winemakers, Jean-Louis Chave, famous for his iconic Hermitage Rouge and Hermitage Blanc masterpieces, took his family’s domaine in 1993 and rose to international fame in very short order and continues to be one of the Rhône’s leading lights. Chave, who’s family date back to 1481 in the Rhône is mostly known for his Hermitage offerings, does an estate Saint-Joseph and the J. L. Chave Selection series of négociant wines, as seen here, but all are organic and small yielding parcels used. The first of the Jean-Louis Chave Selection wines was from the 1995 vintage and it was from St. Joseph grapes, purchased from small growers there, starting a highly successful run of value packed offerings that now include this Côtes-du-Rhône Mon Coeur, the equally delicious Offerus from the mentioned Saint-Joseph, a Saint-Joseph Blanc, a Crozes-Hermitage Rouge, a Crozes Blanc, a Hermitage Blanc (purchased grapes) and the Farconnet Hermitage Rouge, as well as the single cru Clos Florentin Saint-Joseph, a really stunning pure Syrah that flies under the radar. The Mon Coeur Côtes-du-Rhône is fermented exclusively in stainless steel using de-stemmed grapes and then aged in a combination of wood, with old and new demi-muids and large foudres mostly, at Chave’s restored cellar at Le Clos in in Mauves, Saint-Joseph. What’s not to love here?
($27 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

By admin