J.L. Chave Selection Crozes-Hermitage Silene 2019


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“Deep, glistening violet color. Pungent dark berry, cherry and licorice aromas are complemented by exotic spice and smoky mineral flourishes. Fleshy blueberry and bitter cherry flavors turn sweeter in the glass and pick up an olive nuance on the back half. Firms up slowly with air and finishes spicy and long, with rounded tannins and resonating dark berry and mineral qualities. Roughly three-quarters of this fruit is from the Chave’s holdings, in the northern sector of the appellation, and the rest of purchased from nearby producers. Drinking window: 2024-2032. 93 points

These wines, which often contain a healthy percentage of Domaine J.L. Chave domaine fruit, are not Chave Lite, as many retailers are prone to suggest. These tend to be rounder, fruit-forward and more approachable than the domaine wines, which are extremely long-lived and deserving of extended cellaring. They have steadily become more intensely perfumed and flavored in recent years, with the Crozes-Hermitage Silène of particular interest. It’s made from vines in the granitic soils of the northern sector. At least half of the fruit comes from a young vineyard that Chaves owns, planted and farms, so one can understand the potential quality.”

Josh Raynolds, Vinous (12/22)