Peppery black fruit, toast, liquorice, black cherry and tar. So much softer and more supple than expected – entirely drinkable now, although doing so would cut short its full potential, of course. Long, medicinal finish. (RH)
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2042
Inky ruby. Highly precise, mineral-accented black/blue fruit, exotic spice, olive paste and incense aromas pick up hints of smokiness and candied licorice as the wine opens up. Seamless and penetrating on the palate, offering urgent blueberry, cherry preserve, spicecake and floral pastille flavors and a strong jolt of smoky minerality. Deepens steadily on the strikingly long, penetrating finish, which features smooth, interwoven tannins and resonating florality.
Anticipated maturity: 2028-2038
Robert Parker 96
Chave’s 2016 Hermitage isn’t the most intense or biggest wine this estate has produced, but it’s a wonderfully charming, approachable effort from a vintage where quantities were halved by hail damage. Perfumed and spicy, with notes of black olives and black cherries, it’s full-bodied, cuddly-soft and velvety in texture, with a long, harmonious finish. I expect it will firm up a little over the next year or two in bottle, but it’s delicious now and should mature gracefully for at least 15 years, probably longer.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2035