Inky ruby. An expansive bouquet evokes ripe black and blue fruits, candied flowers and smoky bacon, along with suggestions of olive and pipe tobacco. Densely packed, spice-accented blackberry and cherry liqueur flavors show fine delineation and energetic lift thanks to a core of juicy acidity. A mineral nuance arrives with air and carries through a long, velvety finish framed by round, well-knit tannins.
Final blend in tank, immediately prior to bottling. This has fresh and exotic red fruit with plenty of spice and tarry nuances, plenty of fragrance and dry stony aromas, too. Elegant and plush with complex texture. The tannins are gently grippy. Finishes with chocolate and spice. Best from 2025.
This has a lovely mouthfeel, with velvety waves of crushed plum and boysenberry reduction wrapped in sweet toast, bay leaf and alder notes. The long finish has a black tea note curling around and a late mineral twinge for contrast. Drink now through 2035.
A tasting of the four main vineyards shows that Chave's 2017 domaine St-Joseph is looking strong. Le Clos is rich, fruity, opulent and velvety in texture, and hedonistic in this vintage. The Challeys component, from a granitic hill just above Le Clos, is structured and saline, with more black olive than Le Clos' blackberry. The clay and granite Dardouyes site contributes lush fruit, spice and a spry acidity, whereas the ethereal Bachesson has an incredible floral aroma. The general effect is one of rich fruit but good precision, superb balance and complexity.