Wine Geek Recommended
Meet the CoolVines Wine Geek! He’ll guide you toward – or away from! – wines that have a unique flavor profile: intentionally oxidized wines, earthy, stinky wines, wines with a bit of fritz on the tongue. Look for him throughout our web site, and on the shelves in our stores, to point the way toward these geeky wines.
One of the oldest and most respected names in French wine, Chave continually garners high praise for the excellent Northern Rhone wines it produces. Founded in 1481, and passed from father to son ever since, the domaine is now headed by young Jean-Louis Chave, a graduate of UC Davis' prestigious oenology program.
Chave owns vines in 9 of the 18 vineyards that cover the Hermitage hillside. Keenly aware of the different dynamics fruit from different parcels can have, Jean-Louis pays close attention to the terroir-influences when selecting fruit for this, his top cuvee. He uses little to no oak on his wines, believing that the innate character of the fruit is what makes a truly great wine. In this vein, he intervenes with filtering or fining minimally, if at all.
Domaine Jean-Louis Chave is a family owned winery. It has been passed from father to son since 1481. The Domaine is currently under the direction of Jean-Louis Chave, though his father, Gérard, is still around the domaine for occasional advice.
When phylloxera hit in the 19th century they were obliged to move down to the Rhône valley to diversify into fruit farming, basing themselves in the village of Mauves where the cellars are today. It was at this time that a particularly smart ancestor decided to cross the Rhône river and lay claim to parcels of land on the hill of Hermitage. Jean Louis has once again created the terraces in Lemps where his 60 to 80 year-old-vines grow. He says ‘It's like restoring an ancient monument’.
They work their way up the vineyards, constantly clearing away the overbrush that grows wild in that area. Once they make it to the top they have to start again at the bottom.