Log In Sign Up

Jean-Louis Chave Sélection, Hermitage “Farconnet”Northern Rhône, France 2018 (750mL)

The Daily Offer

Jean-Louis Chave Sélection, Hermitage “Farconnet” Northern Rhône, France 2018 (750mL)

Fruit
Earth
Body
Tannin
Acid
Alcohol

This is NOT Jean-Louis Chave’s universally prized, perfect-scoring 2018 “L’Hermitage” Rouge. Our allocation of that sold out in a matter of minutes many moons ago. What’s on offer today is Chave’s second Hermitage bottling, “Farconnet,” a monstrously powerful and luxurious Syrah sourced from the same legendary hillside and raised with the same painstaking detail. But it costs four times less than the flagship cuvée.


So what exactly is the difference? Instead of utilizing his own estate fruit, Chave purchases precious Hermitage grapes from trusted growers, and ages the resulting wine in barrel for 24 months instead of 30. That’s the $250 difference. To be clear, this probably doesn’t have a 40-year lifespan like his coveted L’Hermitage; still, for a fraction of the cost, this bottle overflows with Hermitage’s deeply brooding and chiseled terroir. That’s why whenever we have the rare chance to offer today’s $85 treasure, it sells out at the same pace. If you weren’t quick enough to snag his “L’Hermitage,” are seeking a more affordable option, or greedily want both cuvées in your cellar, here’s your single shot to acquire Chave’s newest 2018 release. It’s as charmingly hedonistic, impeccably balanced, and full-throttle as Hermitage gets!



It’s hard for any serious wine professional to dispute that Chave Hermitage has earned a place on the very short list of the world’s finest and most historic wines. Since the 1400s, generations of this family have hand-farmed this same hillside and, in doing so, they’ve created one of the world’s most influential wine dynasties. It is impossible to tell the story of France’s Rhône valley or the Syrah grape without referencing this family’s enormous contribution. 


As one drives north through the Rhône valley toward Burgundy, the hill of Hermitage dominates the horizon. This towering granite hillside looms over the village of Tain and is world renowned for producing deep, timeless, cellar-worthy Syrah. One of my favorite wine scholars, Jancis Robinson MW, has said that in the entire northern Rhône valley “no one is more respected than Domaine Jean-Louis Chave.” And it’s true: this is a region/style/variety-defining wine that graces virtually every great three-star Michelin wine list I’ve ever seen. Today, we are offering Chave’s “Farconnet” Hermitage bottling—a blend of purchased (and some estate-owned) fruit from new and old vines alike (10-60 years of age) in the lieux-dits of Greffieux, Diognières, and Péleat. Note that the fruit Chave does purchase only comes from growers he has long, trusted relationships with.


While far less costly than Jean-Louis Chave’s iconic “L’Hermitage,” it’s neither fair nor accurate to label “Farconnet” a lesser second label or négociant wine. On the contrary, it is a chiseled, profound, and extremely serious Syrah vinified in Jean-Louis’ gorgeous new cellar in Mauves. Countless Northern Rhône reds come across my desk each year but only a select few can rival this extraordinary typicity and brooding mineral core of this Hermitage Syrah. With a long, undisturbed fermentation in tonneaux and stainless steel, plus 24 months of aging in mostly used French barriques, this is a powerful, calculated Syrah beast; a world-class Hermitage through and through. 


This 2018 is packed with candied violets, tar, grilled herbs, bacon fat, clove, and crushed black rock that seamlessly coexist with massive swells of opulent blue/purple fruits and flowers, black cherry liqueur, and roasted black plum. It’s incredibly hedonistic and full-bodied yet Chave has mastered the art of balance and tension—this Syrah feels elegant as it glides effortlessly into a long finish, never once saturating your palate. It’s incredible now, and will only keep improving over the next 10-15 years. Enjoy.




Jean-Louis Chave Sélection, Hermitage “Farconnet” Northern Rhône, France 2018 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionNorthern Rhône
  • Sub-RegionHermitage
  • SoilGranite
  • FarmingOrganic
  • BlendSyrah
  • Alcohol14.5%
  • OakMostly Used French Barrels
  • Service Temp.60° F
  • GlasswareBordeaux Stem
  • DrinkNow-2038
  • Decanting1-2 Hours
  • PairingMoroccan Lamb Tagine

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionNorthern Rhône
  • Sub-RegionHermitage
  • SoilGranite
  • FarmingOrganic
  • BlendSyrah
  • Alcohol14.5%
  • OakMostly Used French Barrels
  • Temp.Serve at 60° F
  • GlasswareBordeaux Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2038
  • Decanting1-2 Hours
  • PairingMoroccan Lamb Tagine