Jean Louis Chave (Wine Styles, Prices, Best Wines 2024)

by Vinovest Council

What’s behind the elegance and finesse of Jean-Louis Chave wines? And, which bottles should you add to your wine collection?

One of the oldest wine producers of France, Jean Louis Chave has been producing exceptional Hermitage and St. Joseph wines for more than five centuries. The iconic winemaker is often referred to as France’s winemaking royalty!

Let’s take a tour of the world of Jean Louis Chave - from its fascinating history and unique wine styles to The Best Jean Louis Chave Wines To Buy In 2024

We’ll also help you find An Easy Way To Invest In These Fine Wines!

Further reading

  • And, if you’re looking for the perfect bottle of bubbly for a celebration, check out our list of Top Ten Champagnes!

A Quick Intro To Jean Louis Chave


Domaine Jean Louis Chave is a family-owned wine estate - managed by the 15th and 16th generations of the Chave family, Gerard Chave and his son Jean Louis Chave. 

It is located in Mauves (Northern Rhone) and makes some of the finest Syrah red wines and Marsanne white wines. 

Jean-Louis Chave wine growers also have a negociant business - Jean-Louis Chave Selections. Under this label, they make wines from the fruit sourced from the top Northern Rhone vineyard plots, including Cote du Rhone and Crozes-Hermitage.

Also read: Find out the Perfect Champagne Glass to serve your precious Champagnes.

Let’s take a step back and see how it all started.

Jean Louis Chave: A Winemaking Legacy Of 16 Generations


The Jean Louis Chave wine estate was established in 1481 by Jean Louis Chave after a nobleman, Farconnet, gifted him a St. Joseph vineyard. 

In 1865, the Chave family bought a few plots on the Hill of Hermitage after the phylloxera epidemic - probably because phylloxera brought down the prices of these vineyards. Here, they started producing high-quality Rhone Valley wines.

However, it was in the 1970s that the 15th generation winemaker and current manager, Gerard Chave, inherited the winery and established its name in the international wine industry.

He also expanded his vineyard to 14 hectares - one of the largest in the Hill of Hermitage.

In 1993, Gerard’s son Jean-Louis joined the estate. Jean-Louis, using his knowledge of oenology, replanted the abandoned St. Joseph vineyards. 

In 1915, he released the first Jean Louis Chave Selection label vintage made entirely from these vineyards.

He also added other appellation wines to this label - a Crozes-Hermitage red wine, a St. Joseph Blanc, a Hermitage Rouge and Blanc, and a Cote du Rhone wine. 

These Domaine wines were so successful that Jean Louis had to renovate the winery and extend the cellars to accommodate the growing production. 

The rest is history! Today, Jean Louis Chave wines are clearly among the best of French wines.

Also read: Want to impress your guests with a glass of delectable cocktail? Try out our Sangria and Mimosa cocktail recipes.

The Vineyards Of Jean Louis Chave


Jean Louis Chave has 14 hectares of vineyards, divided into nine vineyard plots or lieux-dits - each with a unique terroir:

  • Les Bessards
  • L’Hermite
  • Peleat
  • Le Meal
  • Beaume
  • Diognieres
  • Vercandiered
  • Les Rocoules
  • Maison Blanches

They’re located on the steep slopes of the anointed Hermitage hill with rocky granite soils rich in limestone, schist, clay, and sandstone.

While Syrah vines cover most of the vineyards, the rest is planted with Marsanne and Roussanne vines. The average vine age is 30 to 60 years old - with a few old vines being 85 years of age.

The vineyards are terraced and have different mesoclimates. That’s why the fruit of each plot has unique flavors. It is also enhanced by practicing traditional winemaking techniques - organic viticulture, full ripeness of the fruit, low yields, and minimal new oak.

Also read: Take a virtual trip to France's iconic wine region - Chateauneuf-du-Pape - and find out the best wines to buy now!

Let’s take a look at the diverse range of Jean-Louis Chave wines.

Jean Louis Chave Wine Styles


Jean Louis Chave produces a range of exceptional red and white wines. 

1. Red Wines

Unlike many other Hermitage wine producers, Jean Louis has never released a cru Hermitage wine. Instead, he focuses on the art of blending the Syrah wines from different plots. 

Jean Louis produces two red wines:

  • Jean Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge: It is a complex, rich, and elegant red wine made from a blend of Syrah grapes from Chave’s Hermitage parcels. 
  • Cuvee Cathelin: Cuvee Cathelin is a luxury Syrah wine produced only in exceptional vintages. Most of the grapes are sourced from Bessards, while small quantities come from other vineyard plots.

Besides these popular reds, this wine grower also produces delicious blended red wines like Mon Coeur - a Cotes du Rhone wine made from Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre.

Also read: Looking for a delicious red wine for your Sunday dinner? Try Intense MalbecFruity Barbera, or Smokey Zinfandel wine.

2. White Wines

The white wines are also produced from a blend of grapes from different parcels of the same appellation. They are primarily Marsanne wines with small quantities of Roussanne. 

  • Jean Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc: A rich and aromatic dry white wine
  • Jean Louis Chave Vin de Paille: A rich dessert wine made from straw-dried grapes

Also read: Looking for the perfect white wine for a casual brunch? Explore Aromatic Sauvignon BlancZesty Pinot Blanc, and Mouthwatering Riesling wines.

Jean Louis Chave Winemaking Techniques


Even though Jean Louis doesn’t produce any single-vineyard crus, each vineyard’s fruit is vinified separately. Here’s how it goes:

  • Depending on the vintage, the fermentation of partially destemmed grapes takes place  in cement vats, French oak barrels, or stainless steel tanks. 

White wines are partially fermented in casks and partially in tanks.

  • After malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged in old Burgundy barrels. The usage of new oak varies for every vintage.
  • Finally, after barrel-aging, the wines from different parcels are blended before bottling. The final blend is decided through a careful analysis of each vineyard’s wine.

This remarkable blending skill is what gives the Jean Louis wines their aromatic complexity and power.

Also read: Explore the flavors of Delicious Chianti Wine.

Best Jean Louis Chave Wines In 2024 (Including Tasting Notes, Prices)

Here are some of the best Jean-Louis Chave wines to buy in 2024 - for drinking or as a wine gift.

1. 1990 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Ermitage 'Cuvée Cathelin'


A spectacular Syrah wine, the 1990 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Ermitage 'Cuvee Cathelin' has an expressive nose. 

This wine has intense aromas of blackberry, smoked licorice, and plum. The palate has a concentrated flavor with sweet tannin and a lingering finish.

Price of 1990 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Ermitage 'Cuvee Cathelin': $12,603

2. 1989 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Vin de Paille


 This Hermitage appellation wine has an intense aroma of candied fruits. The palate is smooth with a lovely balance of sweetness and acidity. 

Price of 1989 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Vin de Paille: $2,731

Also read: Looking for a refreshing drink for a couple’s night? Here are some of the Best Rose Wines to try out from across the world!

3. 1990 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage


The 1990 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage is a fully-matured Rhone Valley wine with profound aromas of blackberry, cassis, and flowers. The voluptuous palate has a lengthy finish.

Price of 1990 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage: $1,433

4. 1955 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc


A deep golden-colored wine, this white wine has an expressive nose with tropical fruit and buttered citrus aromas. The palate is smooth with perfectly balanced acidity.

Price of 1955 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc: $3,799

5. 2016 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Saint-Joseph 'Clos Florentin'


This rich red wine’s nose gives off red and blue fruit aromas with hints of olive, smoked meat, and tobacco. The palate is weighty with refreshing acidity and a long finish.

Price of 2016 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Saint-Joseph 'Clos Florentin': $303

6. 2001 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Saint-Joseph


The 2001 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Saint-Joseph is full of the classic Northern Rhone Syrah notes. 

The nose has violet aromas with hints of spices and olives. The palate has well-structured tannins, balanced acidity, and a subtle minerality.

Price of 2001 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Saint-Joseph: $228

7. 2007 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Selection Hermitage Blanc


A young and fresh wine with powerful notes, the 2007 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Selection Hermitage Blanc is a must-try white wine. 

The nose gives off peach and lemon tart scents, while the palate is full of tropical fruit flavors. 

Price of 2007 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Selection Hermitage Blanc: $180

8. 2017 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Selection Hermitage 'Farconnet'


A bold and tannic wine, the 2017 Farconnet is a rollercoaster of intense flavors. 

The nose has a robust black pepper aroma balanced by the fruity scents of black currants and cherries. On the palate, the wine has subtle new oak notes with a long finish.

Price of 2017 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Selection Hermitage 'Farconnet': $88

9. 2009 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Selection Hermitage Blanche


The 2009 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Selection Hermitage Blanche is a pale yellow color in the glass. 

You’ll notice seductive aromas of honey, nuts, and vanilla with subtle wax, smoky scents on the nose. The palate has a long nutty finish balanced by the medium acidity.

Price of 2009 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Selection Hermitage Blanche: $178

10. 2012 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Selection Saint-Joseph Offerus


This elegant red wine has dominant aromas of plum, bay leaf, and leather. It has slight minerality with dark fruit flavors - a great wine to pair with meat dishes.

Price of 2012 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Selection Saint-Joseph Offerus: $44

Should You Invest In Jean Louis Chave Wines?


Most of the Jean-Louis Chave wines reach their peak after 10-15 years of aging. But Cuvee Cathelin, one of their most iconic wines, can age for as long as 50-75 years.

In 2018, the 2003 Cuvee Cathelin set a new record when it was sold for $10,253 at the iDealwine auction. 

Also, the 2009 Cuvee Cathelin vintage has shown brilliant price appreciation of more than 300% in six years as it went from $3192 in 2015 to $12,936 in 2021.

If you’re looking for long-term investment, then Jean-Louis Chave is a great place to start. Some of the best Jean-Louis vintages to get your hands on are 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2003.

But with expensive wines comes the nagging question of authenticity.

How do you buy fine Jean-Chave wines without encountering a counterfeit bottle or having to deal with shipping hassles? 

How will you store your fine wine, so it gains its best expression over time?

Here’s a simple solution!

Buy Authentic Jean Louis Chave And Other Fine Collectible Wines Through Vinovest


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Add A Rare Jean Louis Chave To Your Wine Collection


The exceptional Syrah grape wines and the delicious Marsanne and Roussanne whites from this historic winery are sought-after by wine lovers around the world. 

They not only appeal to the senses, but also make some of the most collectible wines in the world.

If you want to invest in fine wines like Jean Louis Chave, the Vinovest is your smartest option. 

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