Delas Freres Hermitage ‘Les Bessards’
96 Points, Cellar Selection
September 1, 2018, Anna Lee C. Iijima
“There's a striking balance here calibrating bold, almost muscular ripeness against an invigorating granite edge. This wine is plump and full bodied, full of supple blackberry and plum flavors balanced by pert acidity and taut, penetrating tannins. It should be in peak from 2020–2035 but hold further.”
April 1, 2018, Josh Raynolds
“Inky ruby. A highly aromatic bouquet evokes candied black and blue fruits, along with complicating suggestions of smoky minerals, candied flowers, olive and vanilla. Deep, chewy and expansive in the mouth, offering impressively concentrated dark berry liqueur, fruitcake and salty olive flavors that are complicated by a hint of smoky minerality and a building floral pastille note. Distinctly rich and powerful but surprisingly graceful as well, showing noteworthy clarity and mineral-driven thrust on the strikingly long finish.”
January 24, 2018, Jeb Dunnuck
“The top cuvée from Delas is the 2015 Hermitage Les Bessards, and it’s always 100% Syrah from the steep, broken granite soils of the Bessards lieu-dit. Aged 18 months in 30% new barrels, its purple/plum color is followed by a huge nose of blackcurrants, graphite, toasted spice, crushed rocks and saddle leather. Powerful, massively concentrated, and tannic, it has a broad, expansive, heavenly texture, a thick mid-palate (you could almost use a fork for this beauty), and a great finish. Despite the richness level, it stays balanced and graceful on the palate, and is never over the top or heavy. It’s a perfect Hermitage that will start to shine with 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for three decades or more. Bravo!”
September 7, 2017, James Suckling
“The granitic Bessards character is strong here with dark slate and dark, lustrous blackberry and plum fruits on the nose. The palate has a swathe of fine, long and powerful, yet velvety, tannins. Oak is nicely integrated. Very fresh. A great wine. Drink from 2020.”
April 1, 2017, Josh Raynolds
“Lurid ruby. Complex, expansive aromas of blackberry liqueur, incense, smoky minerals and Moroccan spices. An array of fresh black and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors show impressive energy and focus. Picks up allspice and star anise nuances with air, along with a suggestion of candied flowers that carries through the extremely long, sweet finish; smooth tannins make a late appearance.”
The Wine Advocate
December 30, 2016, Jeb Dunnuck
“The top cuvée is the 2015 Hermitage les Bessards, which comes from the middle to lower portion of the steep, granite hillside known as Bessards, unquestionably one of the best terroirs for Syrah in the world. Its inky purple color is followed by a full-bodied, rich, thrillingly concentrated red that has huge tannin, bright acidity and a solid mid-palate concentration. It still tastes like it just came from the press and will need to be forgotten for a decade. As normal, it’s completely destemmed and will see 18 months in 30% new oak.”
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. This cuvée is a vineyard plot selection. The grapes come exclusively from the oldest plot within the renowned area of “Les Bessards” in the heart of the Hermitage slopes. This wine is only produced during the very best years and the production is deliberately limited to 6,000 bottles (75 cl.) per year.
The soils are a combination of granite with alluvial quaternary delta deposits and Pliocene marl. This diversity explains the numerous names given to the various vineyard plots within the appellation: Bessards, Greffieux, Méal, Roucoule, Beaumes, etc. The vineyards are south-facing and protected from the north winds. The slopes are well exposed to the sun. 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. Fermenting continues at controlled temperatures of 82°F to 86°F (28°C to 30°C). Daily cap punching and pumping over are carried out for about 10 days, with a total maceration period of up to 20 days. Maturation lasts between 12 and 14 months in oak barrels, which are new or have already held one wine. These are regularly racked in order to provide the tannins with enough oxygen for an optimum maturing.
The wine is a brilliant, deep red hue with lots of depth. The nose shows great class, with soft aromas of blackberries and violets. 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 meats, rare or medium cooked - game, marinated meats and spicy stews. This wine needs at least three years cellaring before it can open up its complexity. After this time, it should be decanted before serving. It is recommended you open the bottle one to three hours before drinking.
Wine Alcohol: 14%
Suggested Retail Price: $249.00