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Best of the Best 2016: Leisure | International Red Wines: Domaine Jean-Louis Chave 2012 Hermitage Northern Rhône

For generations, Domaine Jean-Louis Chave has focused on Syrah, planted in France’s Northern Rhône Valley...

Photo by Cordero studios/corderostudios.com; Styling: Alicia Buszczak

For generations, Domaine Jean-Louis Chave has focused on Syrah, which is planted on the treasured hill of Hermitage in France’s Northern Rhône Valley. Without a doubt, Chave makes today’s most collectible Syrah bottling. This wine needs decades to reveal its personality, but the rewards are great: wine with an inky purple core, fragrant with wild black fruit and flowers, crushed granite, and a touch of black olive and roasted meat. In short, this is perfect Syrah.  

The recent transition from Gerard Chave to his son, Jean-Louis, has been seamless.

Meticulously farmed fruit is harvested by hand, and the wine is aged without the overt influence of new oak.

The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, domainejlchave.fr ($275)