Jean Louis Chave Silène Crozes Hermitage 2020
Vinous 93 - Inky ruby. Pungent, mineral-accented black and blue fruit qualities on the nose, along with hints of olive, licorice and peony that build in the glass. Supple and weighty on the palate, offering expansive blackberry and boysenberry flavors that become firmer with air. The floral note comes back strong on the penetrating finish, which shows outstanding persistence and fine-grained, well-knit tannins. 60% of this fruit was sourced from the granitic soils and steep slopes in the northern sector of the appellation and the other 40% came from the south, where the soils are lighter, based mostly on limestone clay and covered in large alluvial stones and smaller river rocks.
The vineyards for Silène are hillside vineyards located in Larnage and Gervans. It is rare for Crozes to come from hillside granitic soil, as most of Crozes is situated on the alluvial valley oor. The granite soil produces a wine with more backbone and structure. The idea behind this Crozes is to balance the fruit of Syrah without compromising the tightness given by the granite. 50% of the Crozes comes from a parcel of young vines planted in 2003 and owned by Domaine Jean Louis Chave. The parcel sits on a beautiful terroir on the rear east-facing flank of the Hermitage hill. The blend continues to evolve as Lean-Louis buys more land in Crozes. The grapes are vinifed at the Domaine using indigenous yeasts in wood tonneaux and stainless steel tanks, then aged for 15-18 months in barriques. Ripe fruit balanced out by backbone and structure, this Syrah shows plum, black pepper, pencil lead, and warming spices. Perfect with heartier comfort foods such as cassoulet or braised beef short ribs.