As I come back from a few weeks of travel around France, I’m revisiting this wine here from the Rhone. I enjoyed it a few months ago in Hong Kong with a few friends, and it was simply outstanding. It showed spices, herbs and dark berries on the nose. On the palate it was so juicy and full-bodied with fine tannins. It culminated with a super long finish.
I have been a huge fan of the 1983 Chave in all of its various guises, and this most recent bottle was the finest I have yet had the pleasure to taste. The wine was at its absolute apogee, as it soared from the glass in a classic blend of black raspberries, black olives, grilled venison, a bit of bacon fat, ground pepper, great stony soil tones, espresso, and a bit of violet in the upper register. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep, pure and very transparent down to its stony soil, with a rock solid core of pure, black raspberry fruit, great complexity, melting tannins, bright acids and stunning length and grip on the pure and profound finish. Unlike the more recent vintages of Chave Hermitage, which seem to have all of their quality on the surface, this wine wells up from the depths of the glass and is clearly a wine of bottomless beauty. The best bottle yet of the 1983 that I have had the pleasure to taste, and I drink this vintage with some regularity! (Drink between 2008-2025)
Good full red. Complex, slightly exotic aromas of gibier, tar, spearmint and orange peel. Very concentrated and superripe, with extravagant hints of woodsmoke and iron filings. A wine of great ripeness and substantial power, still a bit dominated by its substantial, dusty, palate-saturating tannins. Fascinating wine, still improving. Here the first wine that struck me as an older style of Hermitage, but then this vintage produced very ripe, very tannic wines. Still, says Jean-Louis: 'Today we would make a wine with silkier tannins from a year like '83.' (ST) 93+
The 1983 is one of my favourite Hermitage wines from Chave in the early 1980s. It has an animally nose with hints of shiitake mushroom. Fine definition and real character. The palate is rustic and animally, certainly less polished than the wines of today but so full of personality with very fine acidity and a touch of mushroom and undergrowth on the finish. Excellent. (NM-Wine Journal)
In this context, the 1983 Hermitage comes across as a bit rough around the edges. Smoke, game, tobacco, leather and a host of other varietal notes are very much alive in the glass. The 1983 is fully mature, brawny and pungent, but also shows no signs of fading. It is an excellent choice for drinking over the next handful of years. (AG)
The first vintage when he could bottle all the wine at once. Very meaty. Savoury, muscular, fresh and racy. Great survivor, lots of life. Firm and long. 18.5/20 points (JR)
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