Ooh, la, la the perfect Rhône white for Thanksgiving! Even more gorgeous now.
Aged for 18 months in French oak, this wine is a voluptuous not only in its aromatics but in flavors. The aromas are complex, whirling blend of lightly toasted almonds, orange marmalade, wet stones, honeysuckle and pineapple. The palate is very intense, succulent from the rich front palate to a finish that just goes on and on.
The blend: 85% Marsanne and 15% Roussanne
Why the addition of Roussanne? Marsanne is the star of the show, with intensity of orange blossom, beeswax and spice, add to that the subtle peach and apricot, then mid palate and length that the Roussanne brings to the wine comes through. Not many wines are as exotic and rich as this wine can be, or as age worthy: it will develop beautifully over 20 years, for sure.
As many of you know, I love the whites of the Northern Rhône. Nothing makes my heart pound more than an amazing Condrieu, a St. Joseph Blanc, a Croze-Hermitage or the big one, the elusive one, the one that takes me to the Rhône Tain-l'Hermitage itself...that right, a Hermitage Blanc!
Yes, Guigal Ex Voto Blanc is amazing, and yes, a Chapoutier make the hairs on my arms stand, but for me, it's all about the magic of Chave Hermitage.
Its hard to put it in words why Chave is so magical, except that to me, it demonstrates how Marsanne and Roussanne grown in the right terrior, can make a wine, no more like an elixir, smell and taste as great as this wine does.
One of my favorite Northern Rhône varietals is Marsanne. Coming from great vineyards in St. Joseph, Croze-Hermitage and my favorite Hermitage, where it truly shines. Producers such as Chave and Chapoutier make wines that set the bar.
To produce a wine of this caliber is nearly to impossible and trust me I have tried with fruit from many different California vineyards and never reached those heights. Then the opportunity came from Stagecoach, and I thought to myself: this vineyard has the minerality, the elevation, that being a mountain vineyard in the Atlas Peak AVA. Let’s give it one more try. My first vintage was in 2006 and by the 2007 vintage, I had decided this was the place. With some help from a few of my Northern Rhône wine heroes, I got it dialed in. The rest is history.
I know Hermitage is Hermitage and I know the Mountains of Napa are the Mountains of Napa, but without a doubt, I feel this is one of the greatest examples of Marsanne that has been made in California.
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$.01 9+ 750 mL bottles
$ 15 1 - 8 750 mL bottles
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