Delas Frères Hermitage ‘Les Bessards’
December 20, 2018, Jeb Dunnuck
“The 2017 Hermitage Les Bessards comes from what I consider the greatest terroir on earth for Syrah and will spend 14 months in once-used barrels. Its inky purple color is followed by a sensational bouquet crème de cassis, blueberries, freshly crushed rocks (not far from ozone), violets, sappy herbs, and an incredible sense of minerality. Powerful, full-bodied, concentrated and structured, it doesn't have the sheer density or depth of the 2009, 2010, or 2015, but is balanced, layered, and has incredible class. Give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following 25+ years.”
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, 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 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. 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, game, 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