What Are You Tasting: 2011 Jean-Louis Chave St. Joseph Rouge "Offerus"


The Chave Family has been growing vines in Northern Rhone since 1491. Jean-Louis Chave is the oldest estate in the Rhone and is still family owned and operated today. The family takes great pride in low yields and traditional farming practices but put extra importance on blending. Each vineyard has a unique terroir that give complexity and finesse to the blend. If a plot does not meet their standards they do not use it.                                                                                                                         


The Chave Estate is located in the commune of Maves in Saint-Joseph AOC, Northern Rhone, France. The St. Joseph appellation was named after a Saint whose job was protecting scorned husbands. (With a job like that, who wouldn’t need a glass of wine?) St. Joseph was previously known as Vin de Mauves. Mauves is considered the heart of St. Joseph as it is where St-Joseph began its expansion into the larger region it is today. This area is also blessed with similar granite soils of the famous Hermitage region. These soils and the cold “Minstral” wind allow for some of the most elegant and floral Syrah’s on the planet.


The nose shows red peppercorns and fresh plum, the palate brings to mind autumn leaves, violets and beef jerky. This is a very mineral driven and elegant Syrah. It is also quite bright, so we recommend pairing it with pork tenderloin or duck breast with a citrus marinade.


St. Joseph offers approachability, while most of the great wines of the Rhone often need decades of ageing. With Jean-Louis Chave’s St. Joseph you receive the quality of Hermitage without your hair going out of style.



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