At the foot of the famous Hermitage hillside, the Cave de Tain l'Hermitage cooperative produces five appellation controlee wines, namely Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, St-Joseph, Cornas and St-Peray. Cave de Tain also owns a 21 hectare domaine within the prestigious Hermitage appellation and the head winemaker, Xavier Frouin supervises each stage of vinification, from grape reception, classified according to quality, right up to bottling. The Cave has established an enviable reputation for authentic wines bearing the full character of their individual terroirs, bringing out the best through careful and non-intrusive vinification methods. As it has grown, traditional wine making techniques have remained whilst benefitting from the latest developments in modern winemaking. Cave de Tain's new cellars were completed in late 2014; a total investment of £10m has dramatically reinvigorated winemaking facilities, increasing the Cave's quality potential without increasing production capacity.
Speaking at the inauguration of the new cellars, Jancis Robinson said
"Cave de Tain has always been managed with a true passion for the production of quality wines and extensive consumer insight. It is one of the best cooperative wineries in France, but also one of the best producers of northern Cotes-du-Rhone wines."
Vineyards are situated on the right bank of the valley in the Northern Rhone and arranged in terraces on granite soil. Vine roots push deeper into granitic soil and this results in the characteristic freshness and balance. Selected parcels of old vines (35 years on average) and the best hillside sites are harvested by hand and vinified separately.
Traditional maceration in concrete vats with regular remontage and gentle pigeage is followed by regular tasting to determine when to rack into barrels for the malolactic fermentation. Matured for 15 months in 400l barrels (both new and 2nd fill) before an uncompromising assemblage of the final "Esprit de Granit".
Wild mint and dark cherry on the nose. Very dark chocolate and savoury oak on the palate. Densley structured with fine mineral tannins on the finish. Enjoy now with food, keeping some back for the cellar.
Try with roast lamb, beef, good Farmhouse cheeses.