JL Chave Hermitage Blanc 2019, Rhone Valley, France

The Chave family began buying land on the Hill of Hermitage in 1865. The land and family business of making great Rhone wine continues to be passed from generation to generation. The Chave family made the move to Hermitage following the attack of phylloxera that struck most of Europe’s vineyards in the late 19th century. The Chave family began producing wine in Mauves when they entered the wine business. In fact, this is where the Chave continues to produce Hermitage wine today. Chave began bottling and selling their own wine in the late 1800s. The vines are old, with an average age of 50 years, give or take a few years. The remaining 5 hectares of vines are planted to 80% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne. The grape vines for their white Rhone wine are even older than their red wine vines as they are mostly more than 60 years of age. The fruit for this wine comes mainly from the lieu-dit Maison Blanche, which sits atop the hill of Hermitage. The soil is iron-rich clay and loess and it is important to constantly maintain this vineyard, as the fine top layer of loess soil erodes easily. This terroir is very interesting for the white as it comes from a cooler soil and gives aromas of stone fruit and white flowers. Some additional fruit comes from l’Ermite and Peleàt. It is a white Hermitage that has the advantage of being approachable at a young age for drinking pleasure as well as having upwards of ten years of aging potential. Vinification: Fermented in barriques. Aged in barriques for 18-24 months.