I tasted this wine in three components from stainless steel tanks, where it was awaiting bottling this winter. #1: Red berries and flowers on the nose, with strong mineral and floral notes and Asian spices. #2: More masculine and brooding, offering deep cherry compote and blackcurrant scents and suggestions of licorice and black cardamom. Smoky dark fruit flavors are framed by chewy tannins and pick up sweeter red berry qualities with air. The finish is sweet and penetrating, with a strong echo of black raspberry. #3: Fresh raspberry and cherry on the nose, with notes of smoked meat, minerals and violet. Supple, mineral-laced red fruit flavors are joined by allspice and violet pastille on the back. Very fresh sample with strong finishing lift and spiciness. Looks to be an excellent wine that will provide plenty of pleasure on the (relatively) young side.
Robert Parker 95
The spectacular 2007 Hermitage boasts a dense purple color along with notes of creme de cassis, loamy soil, crushed rocks and acacia flowers, a rare opulence and a full-bodied style. Reminiscent of the 1991 Hermitage (a great vintage for Chave as well as most top producers in Hermitage), it should drink well for 20-25 years. Tasting through the different Hermitage vineyards (including Peleat, Les Beaumes, Meal, l’Ermite and Les Bessards), the lowest score any of these lots received was 94-96 (Les Beaumes). The other parcels all merited 97-100 points. The most dominant component part of Chave’s red Hermitage comes from Les Bessards, which many consider to be the greatest vineyard on Hermitage Hill. The next largest is Meal, a vineyard with a more southerly exposure. While Chave has not made their special cuvee, Cuvee Cathelin, since 2003, I suspect one will emerge from the different lots of Les Bessards that I tasted as 2009 is certainly a year where enough wine can be culled out for the Cathelin without sacrificing the monumental quality of the regular Hermitage. This looks to be one of the wines of the vintage, which is not surprising given the fact that the Chave family has more experience than just about anybody in the winemaking world (the domaine was founded in 1481 – nearly a decade before Christopher Columbus discovered America!). Importer: David Shiverick, Los Angeles, CA; tel (213) 483-5900
Anticipated maturity: 2011-2036
Tasted blind. Deep garnet. Lots of life, energy and tension on the nose. Even a bit raw, it’s so tense and tight. This seems much more youthful than the Guigal Ex Voto 2007 served blind alongside. In the glass this even because a bit austere and severe. Don’t open this yet!
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2045