x
  • Country ranking ?

    291
  • Producer ranking ?

    3
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Roast lamb served medium-rare to well-done

The Story

Cuvée Cathelin, named after the artist Bernard Cathelin, a friend of the Chave family who designed the label for this wine which was first released in 1990. This wine has a limited production, just over 100 cases in fact, and is essentially a super micro-cuvée. Chave is quick to explain, however, that it is Hermitage in a different style, rather than a wine that should detract from the main cuvée. A vin de paille has also been the subject of critical acclaim. Whatever the style, however, Jean Louis Chave is clearly keeping quality paramount. This remains a source of superb Hermitage, both red and white.
 

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Vintage 1990

The spring in the Northern Rhône was mild, leading to early flowering. The summer was not as torrid as in 1989, but it was very dry, which in some areas, such as Côte-Rôtie, forced growers to wait well into the autumn before harvesting. However, some rain fell in early September in Hermitage, which speeded the maturation and did not cause much delay in harvesting. Indeed, Chave is always among the last Hermitage growers to pick. Jean-Louise Chave has explained that, despite the renown of the vintage, it was at first difficult to discern the red’s tannic structure, which prompted his father to create a different and more structured blend.

 

It is difficult to speak of the terroir behind the Chave Hermitage, since the family owns 14 hectares, of which 10ha are Syrah, in seven parcels. They are located in many of the most highly regarded sectors of the hill (such as Le Méal, Les Bessards and L’Hermite) and the wines are always a blend. The 1990 Cathelin came mostly from Les Bessards and was aged in new barrels

.

After harvest the grapes are partially destemmed, then fermented either in open wood vats or in concrete tanks. The wines, with each parcel kept separately, are aged in casks of different sizes, with a modest proportion of new wood, never exceeding 20%, for up to 18 months. After blending, the wines are fined with egg white and bottled without filtration. The limited-production Cathelin, however, is aged entirely in new barrels.


 

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2014 2013 2011 2010 2005 2000
4 454€ +5.8% 4 211€ +15.4% 3 650€ +59.0% 2 295€ +4.8% 2 190€ +34.1% 1 633€ +197.4% 549€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Deep and Dark

ending

Long, Extensive and Spicy

nose

Youthful, Complex and Forward

recommend

Yes

taste

High in Acidity, Warming, Balanced, Concentrated, Well-structured, Full-bodied, Vigor, Dry and Sweet tannins

Verdict

Transparent and Outstanding

Written Notes

The 1990 Chave Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin was corked.  Fuuuuuuuck.  Two 5k bottles down the drain.  No one said fine and rare wine was easy.  Thankfully, everyone in attendance understood these things happen and didn’t let it affect their spectacular night (DQ).

1990 Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin J.L. Chave This is a controversial wine in Chave’s wine range since Chave’s philosophy is to make one red Hermitage from the best Syrah grapes from various parcels. However, this wine is a special cuvée on top of their regular Hermitage. This is the first vintage of this rare flagship wine. It is named after their family friend and artist, Bernard Cathelin who has designed the label of this lovely wine. Chave has made just over 100 cases of this rich and exclusive wine. Decanted four hours. Inky purple coloured with undertones of magenta. The 1990 Chave’s top cuvée showed aromas of blackberries, smoked liquorice, plum, and fresh vanilla, with hints of spices and black truffles. A giving, almost mind-blowing entry is followed by intense flavours and super concentrated body. Finished with lingering, sweet tannin and pronounced spiciness.
  • 96p

Information

Origin

Hermitage, Rhône

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Good

Fake factory

None

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin 1990  ( Domaine Jean-Louis Chave )

The 1990 Chave Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin was corked.  Fuuuuuuuck.  Two 5k bottles down the drain.  No one said fine and rare wine was easy.  Thankfully, everyone in attendance understood these things happen and didn’t let it affect their spectacular night (DQ).

1m 3d ago

97p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin 1990  ( Domaine Jean-Louis Chave )

"The star of the flight, almost more Cote Rotie than Ermitage. There were loads of mint and black truffles in this heady wine."

1y 8m ago

97p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin 1990  ( Domaine Jean-Louis Chave )

"The Cathelin was meaty, intense and ripe in the nose with toast, menthol, beef, blood, eucalyptus and mint. The palate was similar and a little more than outstanding . were in winegasm territory"

1y 8m ago

96p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin 1990  ( Domaine Jean-Louis Chave )

"1990 Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin J.L. Chave

This is a controversial wine in Chave’s wine range since Chave’s philosophy is to make one red Hermitage from the best Syrah grapes from various parcels. However, this wine is a special cuvée on top of their regular Hermitage. This is the first vintage of this rare flagship wine. It is named after their family friend and artist, Bernard Cathelin who has designed the label of this lovely wine. Chave has made just over 100 cases of this rich and exclusive wine.
Decanted four hours. Inky purple coloured with undertones of magenta. The 1990 Chave’s top cuvée showed aromas of blackberries, smoked liquorice, plum, and fresh vanilla, with hints of spices and black truffles. A giving, almost mind-blowing entry is followed by intense flavours and super concentrated body. Finished with lingering, sweet tannin and pronounced spiciness.
"

4y 8m ago

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