2003 domaine jean louis chave, hermitage, rouge
Why We're Buying
Domaine Jean-Louis Chave has been family-operated since 1481, spanning 25 generations. In that time, it's made a name for itself with Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage, a syrah that reached a $400 price tag in 2021. In addition to annual critical acclaim, this red wine earned three stars from Guide Hachette des Vins, the highest possible rating.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Chave's 2003 Hermitage, like the most successful Burgundies from that anomalous vintage, somehow retains a sense of mineral freshness that balances this wine's remarkable concentration and massive fruit. Tasted at the domaine, it's even floral and perfumed on the nose, an incredible feat when faced with that summer's implacable heat. Full-bodied, massively rich and decadently creamy in texture, it delivers waves of mixed red and black fruits that avoid any overtly raisiny character, finishing vibrant, peppery and long.
I’ve rated the 2003 Hermitage perfect on numerous occasions, and while sound bottles are still as good as it gets, I’ve also had some tired bottles here in the states, so provenance is critical with this vintage. Still youthfully colored yet just starting to show some maturity in its aromatics of blackberries, dark currants, licorice, spice box, and leather, this fabulously textured, opulent 2003 hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a wealth of sweet tannins, and a monster of a finish. Clearing 15% alcohol (and I think the pH is probably around 4), it should be a required tasting for all those touting the low alcohol nonsense. This singular beauty can be drunk today with incredible pleasure or cellared for another two decades, if you’re so inclined
This shows the extreme plum, blackberry and raspberry confiture notes of this very hot year, stuffed with extra blood orange, singed clove, saddle leather and freshly plowed humus. The tannins offer a lightly firm cedar edge, but are well-melded into the core. Will likely always be controversial because of the exotic profile, but this is a wine that completely captures the essence of the vintage without sacrificing a sense of terroir. And isn't that what we look for? (JM, Web-2012)
The first exceptionally hot year of the millennium. 'The vines didn't know what to expect,' says Jean-Louis Chave, and the wine is highly atypical. Decidedly full-bodied, with noticeably high alcohol, but thankfully there is ample acidity around intense confit fruits and strawberry jam, along with more developed, meaty aromas and rather leathery tannins. (MW)