eROBERT PARKER 96 POINTS: "One of the more charming and forward efforts from Chave, the 2012 Hermitage sports a mostly opaque purple color to go with classic creme de cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with notions of lead pencil shavings, violets and powdered rocks. Deep, full-bodied and sumptuously textured, with good freshness, this pure, elegant Hermitage shows more and more definition and cut with time in the glass, but never loses it's more fruit forward, charming profile. I suspect it will drink nicely for most of its life."
VINOUS MEDIA 95-97 POINTS: "Presented as components from four different barrels: #1, from Beaume: Exotic scents of candied licorice, dark berries and smoky Indian spices. Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the middle, displaying superb depth to its bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors. #2, from Peleat: Explosive red fruit and potpourri aromas, with a bright mineral overtone. Silky and sweet, offering vibrant raspberry and cherry compote flavors and a touch of bitter chocolate. The red fruit note echoes strongly on the back half. #3, from Meal: Fleshier and rounder than the first two components, offering plush dark berry and violet flavors that coat the palate. Chewy tannins build on the finish and fold smoothly into the wine's dense fruit. #4, from Bessards: Emphatic mineral and dark berry aromas pick up a sexy floral note and a hint of cola. Sappy, penetrating and sharply focused, displaying an impressive array of red fruit and floral qualities and strong finishing spiciness. Jean-Louis Chave told me he thinks this wine will be "classic Hermitage with an emphasis on fruit, not structure, but not lacking in structure at all--just compared to, say, 2010 and 2005." -- Josh Raynolds