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."
The grapes are all hand-picked from steep terraced vineyards on the Hermitage hill high above the town of Tain-l'Hermitage, where the granite and fluvio-glacial alluvium soil helps to naturally limit yields to 40 hectolitres per hectare maximum. They are then hand selected at the Cave depending on age of vines, specific 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 (the Noble Rives label always gets A quality grapes). Destemming followed by fermentation and maceration in vats for 3 weeks at a controlled temperature of around 30-33 degrees with pumping over twice a day to extract measured amount of tannins, colour and fruit. Gentle pressing in pneumatic presses and running off directly into French oak barriques (225 litre barrels) while the wines are still 'hot', where the malolactic fermentation takes place (to soften out the harsher acids and impart distinct characters). This is followed by several rackings (to gently remove sediment),and the wine is aged in total for 18 months in oak. The wine is fined and undergoes light membrane filtration before bottling. Winemaker is Jean-Etienne Guibert.
The historic terraced slope of Hermitage produces wines which are powerful and complex yet supple and Cave de Tain have been experts in this appellation since 1933. Ripe, wild black fruits, peppery spice and hints of earthy leather on the nose, rich and savoury on the palate but also elegant and evolved with well-integrated tannins.
- Additional Information
Name Caves de Tain Hermitage Country France Region Hermitage ABV% 13% Vintage 2013 Grape Variety 100% Syrah Size 750ml Dietary Information Suitable for Vegetarians, Suitable for Vegans