1998 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin #156611999
Based on 10 reviews on Cellartracker.com
Reviews 98 points Wine Advocate "The opaque black/purple-colored 1998 Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin (200 cases) offers a huge nose of smoked licorice, blackberry, cassis, new saddle leather, and vanillin. Tasting like liqueur of Syrah, it is extremely full-bodied and awesomely concentrated, with formidable tannin as well as mind-blowing levels of extract and density. (RP)" 98 points Vinous "Reticent, minerally nose hints at great sweetness and ripeness; notes of blackberry and tar emerge with aeration. Round, rich and layered in the mouth; still quite closed but the wine extraordinary depth of flavor is already apparent. Slight suggestion of peppery austerity. Great intensity with no excess weight. Finishes with explosive length and noble tannins. (ST)"
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About Domaine Jean-Louis Chave
The Chave family is as emblematic of Hermitage as its steep terraced vineyards, boasting a knowledge of the local terroirs that’s been in the family DNA for 16 continuous generations since the late 15th century. Ardent perfectionist Jean-Louis Chave took his place at the helm of the family estate in the 1990s and has become one of the Northern Rhône’s most iconic producers ever since. Based out of the village of Mauve, he farms 15 hectares of Syrah, Marsanne and Roussane organically in Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, and St. Joseph. After the big co-ops and négociants, he is the largest landowner in Hermitage, with vineyards in the appellation’s most coveted granite and clay/limestone soils.
Jean-Louis follows very traditional methods in the cellar. After harvest, he cools the grapes and de-stems about 80% of his crop. During maceration, Jean-Louis and his team employ regular punch-downs, sometimes by foot. He then ages the wines—both the whites and the reds—for up to 18 months in oak barrels of ages appropriate to the vintage, and bottles them unfiltered. Pure, aromatic and explosive with minerality, they can age extremely well for decades.