At the foot of the famous Hermitage hillside, the Cave de Tain l'Hermitage cooperative produces five appellation contrôlée wines, namely Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, St-Joseph, Cornas and St-Péray. 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 Côtes-du-Rhône wines."
Grapes are hand selected at the Cave depending on origin, maturity and state of health - the grapes are categorised as either A, B or C, and incentives and assistance are offered to the growers to upgrade quality to A and B.
Destemmed then fermented in vats for 8 -12 days at a controlled temperature, with pumping over twice a day to extract a measured amount of tannins, colour and fruit. Gentle pressing in a pneumatic press, then 30% of the wine is aged for 6-8 months in 400 litre French oak barrels. The wines are fined and undergo light filtration before bottling.
A beautiful Syrah with floral red fruits, well-balanced and round with plummy and typically peppery notes. Classically structured, with a twist of smoky spice and green olive on the finish.
Charcuterie, grilled red meats, chicken roasted with herbs and garlic, pasta with tomato sauces.