This is an excellent expression of Crozes-Hermitage from Jann Chave in the northern Rhône Valley, one of the region’s stronger producers. It has cedar and spice aromatics. The palate reminds of syrah with its pepper and spice character. Some pastille notes express themselves at intervals. Overall, this is a very good wine that is enjoyable now and can be approached over the next 5 to 8 years. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 12.5. Price: $50s. Website: https://www.yannchave.com/en/our-wine. Reviewed: June 2020.
Here are two sound releases from M. Chapoutier, both from the 2016 vintage. Luberon sits between the southern Rhône valley and Provence, whilst Crozes-Hermitage is in the northern Rhône and quite different in style. The 2016 vintage appears sound in the northern Rhône and a great vintage in the southern Rhône. I find Jancis Robinson’s website useful for vintage reports, although they can be on the tough side. See here www.jancisrobinson.com/learn/vintages.
Luberon Les Incontournables 2016
This is pretty good for $14. A grenache blend, it has fruity aromatics and an intensity that could place this wine as from Australia. There’s sweet fruit, herbs and chocolate by way of aroma. The palate is full bodied, with good length and a hot finish. Rating: Good. Abv: 14%. Price: $14. Website: www.chapoutier.com.
Crozes-Hermitage Les Incontournables 2016
This is quite a lovely Crozes-Hermitage release. Less deeply coloured than the Luberon, it has fragrant aromatics of perfume, roses, florals and apricot. The palate is quite primary with some jammy fruit and approachable tannins. This wine is ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $28. Website: www.chapoutier.com.
This is a pretty basic Crozes-Hermitage from Chapoutier. The 2014 vintage has aromatics of syrah spices and earth. The palate is medium bodied. The finish is short and lacks complexity of expression. Current drinking only. Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 13%. Price: $27.
The name Chave on a bottle from the northern Rhône is usually a better than ordinary set of odds.
This wine is a medium to pronounced intensity expression of ruby in colour and bright in the glass. On the nose, it has restrained aromatics of spirit, brooding earth, spice and pepper, although its youthfulness is overlayed by a spirit character. On the palate, it is dry with medium acidity, light to medium tannins, medium body and intensity, and flavours of plums, spices, stalks, pepper and medium length. This is a good wine, but is somewhat disjointed I felt initially due to its spirity character. It may be a bit simple for the price (in A$ that is). Acceptable to Good
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