Dom. Natacha Chave Aléofane Croze Hermitages (Organic, practicing Biodynamic and following Natural wine principles)
At a very young age, Natacha Chave knew that she would make wine, just like her parents. At the beginning of 2000, her brother Yann Chave took over their father’s Domaine (Bernard Chave) , a renowned vineyard created in 1970 on the Crozes-Hermitage and Hermitage appellations. He renamed the Domaine and renamed it Yann Chave.
So, Natacha knew that if she wanted to make her own wine, she needed an education, some land, and a winery. Natacha enrolled at the Suze la Rousse wine university in 2003, then passed a Farming Professional Capacity (CPA), and then did her work experience with various winegrowers to complete her training. In 2004, she bought 4 acres of vines in the Saint Joseph appellation at Tournon-sur-Rhône. In 2007, she bought a plot of 40-year-old vines in Crozes-Hermitage appellation in the Chassis plain (Beaumont-Monteux village) and planted a few additional vines reaching extending her Domaine to 16+ acres.
The name of the Domaine is Aléofane, in reference to the imaginary island from a book by author, John Macmillan Brown. According to Natacha Chave, “Our immediate will is the respect of nature, soils, grapes and is to be as little as interventionist as possible both in grape growing and in the winemaking process.”
Grass covering between rows, total work of the soil according to the years to induce or not a competition with the vine. And she goes on with vinification: indigenous yeasts and no enzymes. No filtration, no fining and as little sulfur as possible. Natacha also uses biodynamic preparations that favor the stimulation of the plant’s natural immunity and its balance. — Natacha’s approach is very time-consuming, but the payoff is well worth it.
Dense and concentrated; but even with this concentration of fruit, she manages to maintain a beautiful balance. Lovely to drink now and will develop and improve with a bit of aging. This Crozes is 100% Syrah from 50-year-old vines that will blow you away. From an organic vineyard, hand-harvested, native yeast fermented, unfined and unfiltered. The wine is deep in color, purple tinged, concentrated, but perfectly balanced. Black fruits galore, black pepper, Asian five-spice, and savory. It’s best to open it an hour before drinking, it was still great on day two and still hanging in there on day three after opening.
90 points, Decanter: This is a totally classic example. It’s a well-balanced, fruity, and satisfying style of Crozes with good ripeness of fruit, but a gently grippy tannic structure and enough acidity to balance. Decent length. A little reductive on the nose, but not problematically so. A blend of biodynamically-grown parcels of Syrah from around the Chassis. Matured mostly in demi-muid, but also stainless steel and concrete eggs.