2010 Delas Freres Hermitage les Bessards

Year: 2010
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 100
Vinous Media: 95
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
Price :
$199.95
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"The uber-impressive 2010 Hermitage Les Bessards ranks alongside the perfect 2009. The strikingly intense powdered stone/granite minerality is apparent in this wine of great intensity, prodigious, almost skyscraper-like texture, massive body and high tannins. It is only for true connoisseurs who have a cold cellar as well as the patience to wait a minimum of a decade for it to round into drinking form. Filled with potential, it is one of the single greatest Hermitages I have ever tasted. There is no hint of its 100% new oak aging!

Over the last 10-15 years, Delas Freres, which had muddled along with no great distinction for many years, has hit full stride under the ownership of the Louis Roederer-Deutz Champagne firm and the management of Jacques Grange, who continues to push the envelope of quality for both the Northern and Southern Rhone selections. The top single vineyard wines are world class in every sense, often flirting with perfection. Moreover, readers should realize this is also an impressive source for value. Delas’s top St.-Joseph cuvee comes from the hillside vineyards overlooking the small commune of St.-Jean de Muzols. The Delas firm owns 25 acres in Hermitage from which they make a basic cuvee, called Domaine des Tourettes, and, in the greatest vintages, a luxury cuvee, Les Bessards, which comes entirely from the great lieu-dit of the same name. Delas has long had a reputation for making outstanding Condrieu, of which he makes two cuvees." (WA)

"Bright purple. Black and blue fruits, incense and candied violet on the heady, intensely perfumed nose. Sappy, penetrating and pure, its deep black raspberry and blueberry flavors lifted by juicy acidity. Stains the palate and shows uncanny precision for its power. Closes sweet and very long, with youthful tannins and resonating spice and floral pastille notes." (IWC)

Winery Notes:
The Hermitage "Les Bessards" is named after a sub-region of the Hermitage appellation, where the steeply terraced hillside vineyards have an excellent southwestern exposure. Those vineyards produce some of the world's most intense, dense wines from the rich Syrah varietal. Delas owns 25 acres in this prized region, which is a large amount by Rhône standards.

Winemaking:
Harvesting for "Les Bessards" is entirely manual and occurs when the grapes show optimum ripeness. Fermentation takes place in traditional, open-topped concrete tanks after two days of pre-fermentary skin contact at cool temperatures. Maceration continues at controlled temperatures of 82°F to 90°F/28°C to 32°C. Daily cap punching and pumping over are carried out for about 10 days, with a total maceration period of up to 20 days. After devatting and pressing, malolactic fermentation is carried out in oak barrels. Maturation lasts between 14 and 16 months in oak barrels, which have already held wine for between one and three years. These are regularly topped up.

Tasting Notes:
A brilliant, deep red hue with lots of depth. The nose show great class, with soft aromas of blackberries, violets, and black olives on a light smoky touch. Hermitage "Les Bessards" shows plenty of concentration in its fruit. This is a wine with a particularly dense tannic structure, and extremely good balance. This wine pairs well with red meat, game cooked rare or medium, marinated meat and spicy stews. It is recommended you open the bottle one to three hours before drinking.