Robert Parker 100
Chave’s 2003 Hermitage, like the most successful Burgundies from that anomalous vintage, somehow retains a sense of mineral freshness that balances this wine’s remarkable concentration and massive fruit. Tasted at the domaine, it’s even floral and perfumed on the nose, an incredible feat when faced with that summer’s implacable heat. Full-bodied, massively rich and decadently creamy in texture, it delivers waves of mixed red and black fruits that avoid any overtly raisiny character, finishing vibrant, peppery and long.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2040
"Now we take the monster out of his cage," Jean-Louis warned me before pouring this. Inky, almost black in color. Elemental, hugely concentrated and powerful on the nose, which slowly unveils aromas of dark cherry liqueur, blackberry, cassis, espresso and a deep note of sweet tobacco. Impossibly rich and dense on the palate (the yields in 2003 were off by two-thirds), showing myriad dark fruit and bitter chocolate flavors, with a suggestion of tapenade and an intense licorice quality. Remarkably, this takes on a mineral tone on the finish, which has the effect of further drawing out the amazingly powerful finish.
Deep orange-gold. Big but not fat. Was a great match for a spicy St John Welsh rarebit. Full bodied and waxy with just enough acidity and a herbal cocktail.
Anticipated maturity: 2014-2023