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Producer: Jean-Louis Chave

Country: France
Region: Rhône
Founded: 1481
Farming: Biodynamic
Website: no website


“The Chave line… could make a fair claim to be

France’s winemaking royal family: in no other

of France’s great terroirs is the largest individual landholder so deeply rooted in time and place,

so supremely competent, and so modest a

custodian of insights and craftsmanship of

the past.”

Andrew Jeffords, The New France


Wine growers in the northern Rhône since 1481, the Chave family (currently helmed by Gérard and son Jean-Louis) represents 16 generations of unbroken lineage committed to the production of some of the finest Syrah, Marsanne, and Roussanne on the planet. Jean Louis joined his father in 1992 after completing undergraduate studies at University of Connecticut and a degree in oenology at Davis. It was at that time that he completely replanted vineyards on the family’s original estate in Saint-Joseph, which had been abandoned in the early 1900’s when phylloxera hit the region.


The key to perfect balance in Chave’s Hermitage is in their remarkable blending skill, which begins again every season. Many hours of thought, insight, and conversation go into the final component blend for Hermitage. Never once has the Chave family released a single vineyard or cru Hermitage. While percentages vary from year to year, the constant backbone of Hermitage Rouge is Syrah from Bessards Vineyard with its steep, granitic slopes. Similarly with the Blanc, the components vary, however the base is made from old vines Marsanne from their Péléat vineyard. Some Roussanne is also added to the final blend.


Long-lived wines of great purity, elegance, power, and finesse, Chave Hermitage is winemaking in its apogee. In years when they believe the quality of Hermitage will not be compromised, their ultra-rare prestige “Cuvée Cathelin” is bottled, which represents a variation on their Hermitage with the same lieux-dits at different percentages.


Jean-Louis Chave Selections, his négociant line which sources grapes from various areas in the northern Rhône, represents a more accessible way for the consumer to experience the wines of the Chave family. “Mon Coeur” Côtes-du-Rhône is a blend of excellent plots in Vinsobres, Visan, Buisson, and Estargues while “Silène” Crozes-Hermitage is 50% estate Syrah and 50% purchased. As with all things Chave, quality is eminent even at the entry level.


The Chave family's methods for their winemaking include tr-aditional farming, super low yields, full ripeness, and minimal manipulation. Their unmatched meticulousness continues through five centuries to render venerable expressions of the purest of northern Rhône terroir.


"A Study in the Subtleties of Northern Rhône Terroirs"

Eric Asimov, The New York Times, September 2020

France, Northern Rhône: Part 1 – Unprecedented Success

Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, December 2019

Jean-Louis Chave in Wine Spectator

James Molesworth, November 2019

James Suckling Reviews Jean-Louis Chave, October 2019

Northern Rhône: 2016 and 2017 Reds

Josh Raynolds Vinous, September 2019

"Best Rhône 2017 Wines: The Top Scorers"

Matt Walls, Decanter Magazine, January 2019

"The 2016 and 2017 Northern Rhônes"

Jeb Dunnuck,, December 2018

"A Perfect Voyage in the Rhône"

Nick Stock,, August 2018

Jean-Louis Chave in Wine Spectator Insider

James Molesworth, July 2018

"'Elegance Returns to the Northern Rhône in 2016"

Josh Raynolds, Vinous, June 2018

"'16 vs. '15 Northern Rhône: Heads You Win, Tails You Win"

Josh Raynolds, Vinous, April 2018

"France, Northern Rhône: The Blockbuster 2015s and Elegant 2016s"

Jeb Dunnuck,, January 2018

2015 Vintage Review
Josh Raynolds, Vinous, April 2017

2014 & 2015 Vintage Review

Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2016


"Jean-Louis Chave Reflects on the Rhône"

Richard Hemming, MW, Jancis, May 4, 2016


"Ask a Somm: What's the Best Wine to Drink with Thanksgiving Dinner?"

Kat Odell,, Nov. 18 2015


"Wine Harvest 2015: Northern Rhône Winemakers Report a Very Promising Vintage"

James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator, Oct. 2015


"Vinous Table: The Milling Room"

Kelli White, Vinous, Jun. 2015


"Your Next Lesson - St.-Joseph"

Eric Asimov, The New York Times, Jan. 2015


"The Northern Rhône Shines in 2012 & 2013"

Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2014

"France, Rhône: Chave Hermitage Retrospective"

Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate, Sep. 2014


"Northern Rhône 2012 Wines"

Jancis Robinson, Financial Times, Jan. 2014


"Reclaiming the Earthy Grapes of St.-Joseph"

Eric Asimov, The New York Times, Jul. 2013



Appellation: Crozes-Hermitage AOC
Varietal: Marsanne, Roussanne
Technical sheet

93 pts Vinous - Sybèle 2018


An Overview of Domaine J-L Chave (French)


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