....one of the World’s Top Ten Iconic Wine Shops     -     Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Yann Chave Rhone Reds 2020

Yann Chave Rhone Reds 2020 - Prince Wine Store

Yann Chave Rhone Reds 2020

I continue to rave about the wines of Yann Chave, and readers should snatch up these wines before the market catches up to the quality. JEB DUNNUCK

This has been a rather overlooked domaine for many years. But it has been completely revitalised by one of the best young men to appear in the northern Rhone in the past dozen years, Yann Chave. JOHN LIVINGSTONE-LEARMONTH, The Wines of the Northern Rhone

…Gosh this is a good producer. Really delivers a combination between character of the appellation and fruit that you want to get your chops round. JANCIS ROBINSON MW

2020 is a very good vintage in the Northern Rhône. It is seductive, full of silken pleasure, offers wines that will grace any table, wines set to show well from an early age. As such, it is quite the opposite of the brooding, tucked up, muscular 2019s. JONATHON LIVINGSTONE-LEARMONTH, drinkrhone.com

This (2020) is a remarkably classic vintage for Hermitage given the hot, dry conditions. The reds have impressive tannic weight and texture, balanced acidity and a good sense of freshness. MATT WALLS, decanter.com


Yann Chave has waited for his time to shine. It’s here. Since taking his family from grape growers to winemakers in the 90s he’s worked over 20 vintages, fine-tuning his style. The reviews are glowing for the 2020 vintage, his trio of Rhone reds have received rapturous applause. Yet Yann still flies under the radar and his prices remain modest. Though not for much longer – he’s been rated in the top 5 Hermitage producers by Decanter.

His father Bernard was a man of the land planting fruit trees and a small patch of vines on land he bought in 1970. When Yann took over in 1996 his focus was vine and wine. Along the way, he accumulated plots totalling 20ha. Yann’s son is in his final year studying winemaking in Dijon. He’s keen to experiment with whole bunches – though at the mention of this Yann shoots him a look ‘over my dead body!’

Old vines, prime plots and a sensitivity to both the land and winemaking are the foundations of this estate. The shiraz’ of Yann Chave embodies the sun-trapped slopes of the Rhone. Ebullient and soulful, their darkly fruited hearts are wrapped in velvety layers of florals, spices and earthy tones. They’re explosive yet elegant expressions. They capture the nuances of their terroir with beauty and vigour.
Fruit purity is prized, the wines are destemmed and organically farmed. In the cellar, each wine is handled differently. The Crozes-Hermitage is raised in stainless steel, capturing unadulterated spice and dark berries. It’s sourced from their original plantings in Mercurol made from ‘ancient alluvion’ soils of cobblestones over on a gravel base. The tannins are fine and pliant, it’s immediate yet complex.

Le Rouvre ‘is ahead in depth, finesse and interest’ according to Jonathon Livingstone Learmonth. It comes from vines dating back to 1957 in the sun-kissed southern end of the appellation in Pont de l’Isere. Large 600-litre oak vessels are used, 10% new support its rolling richness. This is a step up in class and refinement and needs some cellar time. It’s beautifully alluring and complex.

Hermitage hails from two plots on the famous hill, Les Beaumes and Peleat. The vines were planted in the 70s and 80s. New larger format oak is used as the wine’s intensity measures up well to the intensity. Beaumes is adjacent to Meal, its mid-slope with sandy and limestone soils, offering complexity and fineness. Peleats sit below, its warmer and lower down producing supple and fleshy wines. Blended they make a suave Hermitage. Yann affectionately notes, ‘My Hermitage vines receive the setting sun, late in the day. The soil on Beaume is fresh – there is loess and clay, and because it is steep, the rainwater runs off it rather than floods. I raise the wine in new oak to get round the challenge of reduction – so I don`t have to rack and can raise it in the Burgundian style.’

2020 is a seductive year, producing wines of grace and vitality. It was an early vintage but unlike 2019 there were no heat excesses and timely rainfalls sustained the vines. There’s tannic weight, ripeness and freshness. Drink these before your muscular 2019s.

Yann is warm and jovial. His welcoming nature is dotted with insightful and considered remarks. Like his wines, his generosity is warming to the core. These are wines to pour and enjoy with your friends. They represent Hermitage and its surrounds eloquently. They’re an untapped source of some of the most evocative syrah from Rhone, though not for long as wine critics are catching on.

These have just landed and we’re taking 20% off for straight 6 pack buys on both the Crozes and Le Rouvre. The Hermitage is highly limited, only a few dozen came into the country – this was listed in the top 5 Hermitages of the vintage. Cellar the Hermitage and Le Rouvre, and drink the Crozes over the next few years.

PRODUCTS in this offer

'...amongst the top 5 producers of Hermitage.' MATT WALLS

  1. Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage 2020
    Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage 2020

    You can't go wrong with the Crozes Hermitage from Yann Chave, and the 2020 reveals a deep purple hue as well as a medium to full-bodied, round, wonderfully textured style that gives up classic darker Syrah fruit as well as peppery herbs, new leather, and hints of bouquet garni. I'd be happy to own bottles. JEB DUNNUCK, jebdunnuck.com

    The bouquet has a leafy, black-fruited air, a little pepper snap. The palate is soft, open, drinks freely already, carries a hint of late vegetal, peppering. The mulberry fruit, with a touch of raspberry, is friendly, comfortable. It's a neat, self-contained Crozes, gives à table drinking. From 2022. JONATHON LIVINGSTONE-LEARMONTH, drinkrhone.com

    Special Price $65.00 Regular Price $72.00 As low as $57.00
  2. Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage Le Rouvre 2020
    Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage Le Rouvre 2020
    There's a pleasant little blackcurrant jam note on the nose here. Lightly spiced, medium-bodied, juicy and with very fine tannins, there's a lovely sense of elegance in the wine, with very good acidity. Not as powerful as his cuvée classique, but a greater sense of finesse, balance and drinkability. Long finish. MATT WALLS, decanter.com

    The bouquet brims with bright cassis fruit clad for now in smoky oak. The fruit pleases via a lingering coulis-style sweetness. The palate bears rolling richness, a fluid tone to the content, black berry fruits on display, the tannins ripe, layered. This holds good, proven fruit, its clear tenor appealing. From 2023, decant it. 2030-32 July 2021. JONATHON LIVINGSTONE-LEARMONTH, drinkrhone.com
    Special Price $95.00 Regular Price $105.00 As low as $81.00
  3. Yann Chave Hermitage 2020
    Yann Chave Hermitage 2020
    Introverted on the nose, but smooth and bold on the palate. A little more generosity and weight than some Hermitage this year, also slightly higher alcohol. Harmonious, with good acidity and integrated oak, it is detailed and defined on the palate. A large-framed but calm and collected wine with a good sense of purity and typicity, this is a serious Hermitage. Vines of nearly 50 years of age, grown organically on lieux-dits Beaumes and Péléat, matured in demi-muids with malolactic fermentation in barrel. (97) MATT WALLS, decanter.com

    The bouquet mixes depth with shape, has a curve of black berry fruits, neat sweetness, a slightly floral persistence, a hint of licorice. It's a stylish opening. The palate is aromatic, offers well-toned soft black fruits, pleases on its suave, flowing progress, is elegant, and nourishing, all in a good tempo. It's a much more refined wine than the 2019, the balance good, the length trim and fresh, a little dab of mineral-powder on the close. From mid-2023, decant it. JONATHON LIVINGSTONE-LEARMONTH, drinkrhone.com
    Special Price $285.00 Regular Price $340.00

Order Form

Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage 2020 $72.00 $65.00
Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage Le Rouvre 2020 $105.00 $95.00
Yann Chave Hermitage 2020 $340.00 $285.00
Amex and Diner incur 2% surcharge