Delas Frères Hermitage Les Bessards

Rhône, France

Vintage:2018 (Past)

2019 (Past) | 2020 (Current)

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Delas Frères Hermitage Les Bessards 2018
  • WA 98
  • JD 97
  • WE 97
  • V 96-97
  • WS 96
  • W&S 95


The Wine Advocate

98 Points

May 13, 2021, Joe Czerwinski

“Boasting classic Les Bessards notes of sun-warmed cassis and crushed stone, the 2018 Hermitage Les Bessards has turned out to be a magnificent wine—a close rival to the potentially perfect 2015. Full-bodied and velvety, concentrated and tannic, overflowing with notes of grilled plums, grilled meat and black olives, it's all topped off by a forever finish that remains fresh and cleansing, courtesy of lingering salted-licorice flavors and the texture of finely ground stone dust. Try a bottle after 2025, if you can wait that long.”

Wine Enthusiast

97 Points, Cellar Selection

May 1, 2021, Anna Lee C. Iijima

“Les Bessards is a single-vineyard selection limited to 6,000 majestic bottles in any vintage it's produced. Made from 100% Syrah, its black-cherry coulis and crème de cassis flavors are spicy, marked by hits of scorched anise and peppercorn. Anchored by zesty acidity and a bristling mineral undertow, it's a structured red wrapped in tannins that feel feel fierce now but should meld from 2023. The wine will improve well through 2035 and hold much longer still.”

Wine Spectator

96 Points

February 28, 2021, James Molesworth

“This is packed with intense dark fig, blackberry and boysenberry reduction flavors that show a subtle singed alder thread as they assert themselves, weaving around while mouthwatering anise and bay leaf notes filter through. The finish shows a late echo of scorched earth, with the fruit keeping pace. A dense and muscular wine, yet with superb detail. One for the cellar. Best from 2024 through 2038.”

Wine & Spirits

95 Points

February 2021, Josh Greene

“Made only in top years, this comes from a plot of vines planted in Les Bessards’ granite soils in 1946. It’s an intense, concentrated red in 2018, the fruit nestled deeply into earthy tannins and swathed in chocolatey oak. For all that density, everything feels in harmony, the flavors complex, seamless and lasting for minutes after each sip. This isn’t a wine you can rush: Best to set it aside for a decade before uncorking for a grand meal.”

Jeb Dunnuck

97 Points

November 19, 2020, Jeb Dunnuck

“A stunning Hermitage in every sense, the 2018 Hermitage Les Bessards comes from the steep, broken granite soils of the Les Bessards lieu-dit on Hermitage Hill. Revealing a deep purple/violet color, it has a gorgeous nose of crème de cassis, scorched earth, violets, pepper, and a liquid rock-like minerality. It’s full-bodied and concentrated on the palate, with background oak, flawless balance, ripe yet present tannins, and a great, great finish. It's not a massive Hermitage (especially by this cuvée’s standards in the past) yet has gorgeous purity of fruit and an incredible sense of class. Give bottles 4-5 years (it offers pleasure even today) and it should keep for 30+ years or more.”

Vinous Media

96-97 Points

May 1, 2020, Josh Raynolds

“A highly complex bouquet displays an array of mineral-accented dark fruit, floral and spice qualities complemented by suggestions of olive paste, cola, licorice and incense. Stains the palate with densely packed dark berry, cherry, candied violet and fruitcake flavors that become more lively as the wine stretches out. Shows real finesse for its depth of flavor and finishes extremely long and precise, with a building mineral note, youthfully firm tannins and outstanding, spice- and floral-tinged persistence.”


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.

Tasting Notes

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.

Food Pairing

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.

Technical Information

Varietals: Syrah

Wine Alcohol: 14%