The 2017 has been out for a few years, and while the current vintage is currently 2019, we were able to get a few late-release cases of this completely classic Northern Rhone white. It is made from a blend of Biodynamically grown Marsanne (70%) and Roussanne (30%). Chevalier de Sterimberg is named after the Crusader Gaspard de Sterimberg, who built the small stone Chapel to live out the rest of his days as a Hermit on what is now known as Hermitage Hill; where Hermitage gets its name. The grapes are sourced from 4 sections on Hermitage Hill, all with various soil types; limestone, clay, sand, and a mixture of the three. The vines planted in these sections are 60+ years old, giving the wine a great concentration and terroir expression. The wine is aged in 55% French oak (5% new), 25% older demi-muids, and 20% small concrete eggs. 2017 is a very small harvest for the Rhone Valley, but the fruit it produced is of excellent quality, making this one of the best vintages for the Chevalier de Sterimberg of all time and is starting to drink very well right now. This is a must-try for fans of Rhone Whites and even more opulent Chardonnays.
Wine Advocate (Joe Czerwinski) 94-97 points! "Jaboulet's 2017 Hermitage Blanc Le Chevalier de Sterimberg is approximately two-thirds Marsanne and one-third Roussanne. Subtle notes of crushed stone and pencil shavings frame honey, pineapple and baking spices, all wrapped around a tensile core of tangerine and lime. In a year when no La Chapelle Blanc is being made, this is the top white Hermitage from Jaboulet, and it's a beauty, with a silky texture and a long, mouthwatering finish."
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points! "Brought up just like the Crozes Hermitage Blanc, the 2017 Hermitage Chevalier De Steimberg Blanc is a slightly more Marsanne-dominated effort that offers more minerality and well as reserved notes of spice citrus, crushed rocks, and hints of tangerine. Ultra-pure, seamless, and silky on the palate, it has a beautiful mid-palate as well as a great finish. Purity, freshness, and focus are the buzzwords here. The big news at this benchmark estate is the loss of winemaker Jacques Desvernois to Domaine Guigal. At the time of my tasting with Caroline Frey, there was no replacement, so it will be interesting to see who comes on board. They will certainly have big shoes to fill. Nevertheless, the estate has been on an incredible roll, with their sensational 2015s last year, and now two strong vintages with their 2016s and 2017s."