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Chave is one of the oldest names in wine, beginning in 1481, when a nobleman gifted a farmhouse and vineyard to Charles Chave outside of Lemps in what is now the St. Joseph appellation. Over 500 years later, Jean-Louis is the 16th generation of the family to work the family vines.
In 1865, after phylloxera decimated many vineyards across France and Europe, the Chave family purchased some vines on the famed hill of Hermitage. The Northern Rhône is often considered the spiritual home of Syrah, and and few do it better than Chave.
The Chaves are master blenders, deftly bringing together grapes from various soils and sites. Their method is thoroughly traditional—low yields, full ripeness, minimal new oak, minimal intervention—much the same way wine has been made for centuries.
J.L. Chave Sélection is their négociant line, sourcing grapes from different parts of the Rhône with the same high standards of winemaking: traditional farming, super low yields, full ripeness, and minimal manipulation without using any artificial pesticides or fertilizers.
“Mon Couer” (French for “my heart”) is an undisclosed blend usually about 50/50 Grenache/Syrah, that comes from 4 sites near Chateauneuf-du-Pape: Vinsobres, Visan, Buisson, and Estargues. Grapes grow on 20-60 year old vines, ferment in stainless steel tanks, then age in an assortment of new and old barrels, demi-muids, and large foudres.
Classic Southern Rhône aromas of black cherry, black plum, violet, tar, and herbal garrigue come through in the glass. The palate is fruit-forward and peppery, with black & red fruits framing savory notes of fresh game, briny olives, subtle herbs, and spice. The finish is long & supple, with harmonious tannins and lingering notes of floral dark tea, mesquite, bay leaf, and stony terroir.