Delas Freres Hermitage ‘Les Bessards’
Vintage: 2016 (Current)
June 2018, Josh Raynolds
“Youthful purple. An expansive, smoke- and spice-tinged bouquet evokes fresh dark fruits, olive and exotic spices, and olive and potpourri nuances come up slowly. This one is showing all the Syrah food groups. Sappy and sharply focused on the palate, offering concentrated yet lively black and blue fruit, violet candy and spicecake flavors that spread out and become sweeter on the back half. Powerful yet graceful in style, finishing with superb energy and harmonious tannins that meld smoothly with the intense dark fruit.”
January 24, 2018, Jeb Dunnuck
“The 2016 Hermitage Les Bessards offers more violets and floral notions, with hints of blue fruits (cassis, blueberries), full-bodied richness and building, sweet, polished tannin. It’s another ripe, opulent 2016 that’s going to drink nicely in its youth, yet age gracefully given its purity and balance. While a step back from the otherworldly 2015, this brilliant wine is one of the gems in the vintage.”
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