Investment Tips - Other - 17. November 2020

The King Of The Rhone Valley: Biggest, Best And Extremely Rare!

In Rhône Valley Domaine Chave’s Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin is the greatest. Outstanding quality and vanishingly small production - see price and wines here (incl. large formats)

The Chave Family Since 1481

This investment tip is about the most recognized and most prestigious red wine from the Rhône Valley, which can easily be compared to the most important wines from Burgundy. But also, the history of the Domaine is similar to something we know from Burgundy.

Since 1481, this property has been run by the Chave family and has been widely recognized as one of the absolute best producers in the Rhône Valley. Since 1992, Jean-Louis has been working alongside his father Gerard, who is officially retired today. The family carries out everything in traditional manners as always, which includes organic care of the vineyards and completely traditional production in the cellar. The goal is, to produce wines with optimal expression of the individual parcels they own at Hermitage and the adjacent appellations.

Chave is widely recognized for its strength in producing completely classic Hermitage wine. The Hermitage appellation covers 136 hectares and has in recent years become known for its single-parcel wines from various producers. The Chave family believes that the strength of a real Hermitage lies in a wine blended with fruit from several different parcels. Today, Chave owns 9.3 hectares of syrah grapes on the hill’s best parcels, as well as 4.6 hectares of grapes for its white Hermitage. In addition, Chave owns just above 20 hectares spread over various appellations in the northern Rhône, and also runs a negociant business. However, it is the Hermitage wines that draw the attention – and it is the absolute biggest from here that draws this investment tip.

Rhône Broken Down

Most wine lovers have a relationship with the Rhône Valley, but few are perhaps aware that this is in fact France's second largest appellation - surpassed only by Bordeaux, measured in planted vineyard area. The majority of the wine from Rhône is red, just over seventy percent, and the region's clearly largest AOC appellation, the Côtes du Rhône, accounts for almost half of the production. If the remaining AOC appellations are broken down, we find the Northern Rhône among the smallest, accounting for just 6% of the total production. This is, where we find Domaine Chave and a microscopic production of the house's top wine.

Wine in Rhône Wine types from Rhöne Valley
Appellations in Rhône Appellations in Rhône Valley

Cuvée Cathelin

The regular red Hermitage from the Chave family is considered a reference point for all other wines from the appellation. But the domain's Cuvée Cathelin has its very own page in this book. Only 2,400 bottles of Cuvée Cathelin are produced in the vintages that live up to the family's strict quality requirements. The family's great love for this wine means that not all these bottles are released for sale, which means that the sparsely produced quantities are only even more limited before they hit the open market.

Cuvée Cathelin is a completely unique blend that is only released in special vintages. It is combined with wine from different parcels, but never in the same proportions as Chave's regular Hermitage. It is imperative for Jean-Louis that his Hermitage should always be optimal, so Cuvée Cathelin must not compromise his other Hermitage. The two wines are composed differently, but always combined with fruit from several of the eight parcels that Chave owns on the Hermitage hill. In the end, Cuvée Cathelin ends up being an immortal wine, or as Robert Parker has called it: "… a brilliant wine that almost defies description…"

200 Cases of Sublime Exclusivity

When it comes to extremely exclusive wines in extremely limited production, the trip typically goes to Burgundy. But Rhône can also join on the big stage. Domaine Chave's Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin is not only the best and most exclusive wine from the region, but also one of the smallest productions. Domaine Chave produces just 200 cases of Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin a year, which is equivalent to just 2,400 bottles. Overall, this means that just over 20,000 bottles of Cuvée Cathelin have been produced since the first (1990), of a total of nine vintages, was released.

This means that the world's wine lovers are topped off on new vintages, while even the most seasoned wine connoisseurs and traders have rarely seen mature bottles of this coveted gem in real life.

Cuvée Cathelin: Unquestionable Quality Level

Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin is not just expensive wine and good storytelling. It is simply wine from the absolute top, and the fantastic quality is reflected in the critics' scores:

WA: Wine Advocate VI: Vinous JS: James Suckling

You can talk about high quality, and then you can talk about outstanding quality. But as with other of the world's rarest wines, it is rarely all the wine critics, who have had the opportunity to taste the wines and there are often "holes" to be filled in the point lists. However, the above portrays a clear picture of a wine with an enormously high level. But with the Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin, it is not a question of having the luxurious freedom of choosing vintage, but rather whether the wines can be obtained at all. And you have the opportunity to do so here.

Invest in Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin Rare and exclusive: Invest in Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin

This Is When The Prices Exploded

If you had been willing to spend some cash in the late 1990´s and bought a bottle of the 1995 Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin, you would have paid around € 400-450. In October 2020, the acclaimed American auction house Acker Wines sold a bottle of the 1995 Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin, for the equivalent of just under € 6,800. Had this been an investment, the return would have been + 1,400% or almost 28% in average annual return.

Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin has seen a huge price increase in general, and although the above is a strong example, there is nothing to suggest that prices will not continue to rise - it is simply a matter of supply and demand - and here the supply is minimal and demand is high.

Investment In Mature Bottles

A good wine investment is of course depending on the investment being realized before the wine leaves its drinking window and the quality and taste experience begins to decline. Therefore, you must also be aware of not completely uncritically investing in old vintages, where the potential is limited.

Also read: How Long Can A Wine Be Stored And When Is It Ready To Drink?

Domaine Chave Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin is one of the most long-lasting wines in the world and the concerns regarding investing in mature vintages are unfounded in this case. Based on the 1995 vintage, which is the oldest vintage available in this investment tip, the drinking window lasts from 2007-2037, according to Wine Advocate. This means that even with an investment horizon of 10-15 years, this is still, with proper storage, a very attractive wine when the investment is to be realized.

RareWine Invests Opinion

Domaine Chave Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin simply belongs in the top and is comparable to the best wines from both Bordeaux and Burgundy. The quality is sublime and the potential even bigger. When you combine Domaine Chave's strong name and an annual production of just 2,400 bottles, less than 22,000 bottles since 1990, this is a textbook example of an exclusive and attractive investment wine with enormous potential.

Here, an extremely rare lot is available for investment. It is not everyday you see mature bottles of this wine in the market. These quantities and large formats are almost unheard of.

No one but the producer knows how few large formats are made of Cuvée Cathelin. But given how small the total production is, there are certainly very few - perhaps even a question of maximum tens or twenties talking the largest formats. When it comes to these mature editions, it is a question of whether they are the last in the world.

If you believe in the potential for the best and most coveted wines, then this is a perfect case for you - regardless of whether you choose regular or large formats, you get something that is completely out of the ordinary.

The bottles are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Invest in Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin

Contact us by using the form below if you want to invest or learn more about your possibilities.

1995Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin750Loose7€ 5.500
1998Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin750Loose2€ 5.500
2000Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin750OWC6 (tre stk. i en sekserkasse)3€ 5.750
2003Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin750OWC33€ 6.250
2009Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin750Loose6€ 5.500
1995Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin Methuselah6.000OWC11€ 75.000
1998Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin Jeromoam3.000Loose1€ 35.000
2000Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin Jeromoam3.000Loose1€ 35.000
*All prices are in EUR ex. customs duty, tax and VAT for delivery to a bonded warehouse. Prices including customs duty, tax and VAT can be sent on request. The wines are only sold in whole cases unless otherwise specified and the price is per bottle. Minimum order size € 2,500. Assumes a total minimum investment of € 10,000. Prices may have changed since release of this article.

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