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J L Chave Hermitage Rouge 2015


I have only just read through this thread as top end Rhone wines are not normally on my radar, I can understand much of what has been said about allocation but as with all these things it is impossible to please everyone.

Having said that my recent “what I will keep” from my in bond wines included one I decided to keep and that was a 6 case of the '95 version of the above Hermitage, I had no idea what a ridiculous price it now fetches, I can’t remember exactly what I paid in around '98 ? but it was nothing like the current price, top Rhone wines are getting like Burgundy as they become more popular again, a very small vineyard aea and increased demand and you get silly prices.


Some Rhone producers have been quite clever, producing effectively limited edition wines from good vintages. Beaucastel were amongst the first with their “Homage” cuvee, Guigal have had the “Lala’s” and others have jumped upon this lucrative “top slicing” device.
For me, when a property removes the very best vats from their normal cuvee, it must by definition detract from what might have been. Chave does it with its “cuvee Cathelin,” somewhat astounding as the residual regular Hermitage can still score close to perfection.
I think Caroline Frey has been very clever ditching their “la Petit Chapelle,” their 2nd wine predicated on “less good” barrels and inaugurating “La Maison Bleue,” a Hermitage that is all about position on the hillside, in this case - the East. The difference is the soils are very different at West to the East, but how much fun would it be if I did all the work for you? Some Crozes vineyards have soils quite similar to Eastern Hermitage, so some years when Eastern Hermitage did very well, then the Crozes just might have similar characteristics!?! N’est pas! lol!

Cornas has changed within the last decade from a wine that was virtually undrinkable for top cuvees in their youth to today being approachable much earlier. Prices have risen, and at the very top end are starting to rival Hermitage.

And just to go totally “off piste,” 2017 is a smaller, but good quality vintage. Have a guess which way prices are going to go? I think that we will all suffer disappointments with our requests this coming EP season and when allowed, the prices will be much higher. But that’s the vagaries of vintages, mother nature has dealt the cards, it is up to us to play them to the best of our abilities. The one thing to remember is that we had 07,09,10,12,15 &16, all terrific years. One could make a case that if your cellar if fairly full, you can afford to be mega-picky with 17, given like busses, more great vintages might be just around the corner!?!


There is some good value in the years you omit as well, particularly when the top domaines don’t attempt to make the prestige cuvée and put the grapes into the domaine wine. I have picked up for markedly less than its EP price, a 2013 dom de Marcoux CNDP which has the vielles vignes prestige cuvée grapes in it but coming from an untrendy year was clearly unloved by the market.


Chave dispute Cathelin being a super cuvee, rather saying it’s just a different one. But being so rare, it’s hardly surprising that it’s so expensive. I imagine few people are actually in a position to judge where it’s a superior cuvee for themselves.


I humbly defer to the opinion to Monsuir(s) Chave.
The Chave family have farmed that fabled hillside for 16 unbroken generations since 1491!
I would love to do a tasting comparison.
Sadly for me, that is unlikely to occur.


I’m sure this has already been said but this is definitely a case of TWS being thought wrong no matter what they do.
For transparency I did receive the offer but, even at the below market value price, it was too much for me.
Acting a bit as agent provocateur I wonder how much ‘heat’ missing the offer/missing out on buying from the offer would have been generated if it hadn’t been such an iconic producer in a good year at such a good price?


But it was??? That’s the point surely???

I agree that TWS can’t win, the point is they’ve not got their system right IMO.


Sorry, didn’t say what I meant very well - is the noise just because it was Chave or would the same people make as much noise about the recent Guigal cotes du rhone (£10 I think) email if they didn’t receive it - somehow I think not, shades of “all offers are equal but some are more equal than others” to paraphrase a half remembered George Orwell line.
maybe TWS should have drawn x amount of names out of a hat and offered them a bottle each, carrying on with each refusal until all was gone?
But just think of the resources that would have tied up - the present system may not be perfect but it’s what we’ve got and in the present age of information news of offers travels pretty fast.
Tthe only slight issue I had with it was that there wasn’t an allocation limit to spread it around further but I suspect people would have got around that one if they really wanted to.


I don’t think I got the Guigal offer either. Obviously it’s not so fine and rare as the Chave, but must offer plenty of pleasure and I can pick it up at Waitrose, 1 mile form me here.
There’s no system that’s prefect, but I notice that both Fine and Rare and Seckfords have newly added brokered Chave 2015 at £350/bottle plus. It is this aspect of the system that really grates. I can’t tell where these come from, but I can guess.
I hope TWS has taken note and will allocate in some way next time.


Hi I noticed the start of this thread just before going on holiday, but have not bothered replying until now. A bit late in the day, but just out of interest how much was it offered for (not that I would have been able to afford even a bottle)?


£149 per bottle!


Wow no wonder it got snapped up. Thanks for quick reply.


You are very welcome.


I know what you mean Russ. I would have loved to be able to afford £149 to simply try a great wine.

Those buying cases of if to make a quick buck is maddening.



If you thought all the Rhone Summer Bargains had been snapped up, might I ask you to consider this one.

Jeb Dunnuck gave it 94/100 described it “a match for any number of Chateauneuf’s” Also “impeccably balanced and a thrilling drink!”
Look what Marcel said? £22/bottle all in, an absolute bargain, and yes, I did buy some!
There is a story as to why this is a humble CdR rather than a CH9dP, but I’m not going to do all the work for you!?! lol!


This is also a high Mourvedre content wine, so might appeal to some here… including me :slight_smile:


I might have bought the last bottle, sorry


I can hardly believe this wine is still in stock.
It ticks all the boxes and even a couple of bottles in ones stash will turn out to be a great buy. I got this one in the EP offer never imagining it would end up on the list 18 months later. Only 500 cases made and this cuvee is only produced in the very best years. If it were me, I would impose a 6 bottles per member for this one, but I’m sure that the Society knows what they are doing!! LOL!


Just disappeared from my basket :disappointed_relieved:


It was on the list for some weeks, so no one can say that they didn’t have a chance!
Well done!