The Chave family is based in a small village on the northern right bank of the Rhone. There have been Chaves growing vines on the famous Hermitage hill since 1481. Gerard Chave took over from his father in 1970 and rapidly achieved megastar status due to the extraordinary quality of his wines and has since passed on the winemaking responsibilities to his son Jean-Louis. Their unmatched meticulousness continues through five centuries to render venerable expressions of the purest of Rhône terroir.
The domaine bottlings of JL Chave Hermitage are highly allocated and will set you back $300+ if you can get your hands on a bottle. The Jean-Louis Chave Selections, his négociant line which sources grapes from various areas in the northern Rhône, represents a more accessible way for the consumer to experience the wines of the Chave family. “Mon Coeur” Côtes-du-Rhône is a blend of excellent plots in Vinsobres, Visan, Buisson, and Estargues. In the signature style of Chave, the wine is ripe and juicy, but still retains and elegant balance. It is a joy to drink and share at price that should have you grabbing it by the case.
This information regarding the sites where fruit is sourced to make this wine should reinforce the idea that this is not a run-of-the-mill Cotes du Rhone.
Varietals: 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre/Cinsault
Appellation: Côtes-du-Rhône AOC Vineyard Age: 20-60 years Vineyards:
Visan: This area became a papal possession in 1344 and enjoys exclusive status to this day. It is effectively an enclave, a piece of Vaucluse surrounded by the département of Drôme. Planted in clay-limestone soils, the vines yield red wines that are stylish and elegant.
Vinsobres: Situated on the plateau of Vinsobres to the southeast of the village of Valréas, this vineyard lies in the middle of an area known as the “Enclave des Papes”. The vines (100% Syrah) are planted at nearly 900 feet in altitude on a clay soil which is extremely rich in limestone. Due to its high altitude and septentrional location, the vineyard yields a wine with incredible purity, definition, and focus.
Cairanne: Located very near the Enclave des Papes, Cairanne is a small village with a classic Mediterranean climate that produces full-flavored red wines. It was promoted to cru status in early 2016.
Rasteau: Used in select vintages. One of the best regions in Côtes-du-Rhône, Rasteau is located in the northern part of the appellation and is known for its concentrated wines, with these grapes adding structure and weight to the blend.