Perched high upon the storied Hermitage Hill, Jaboulet’s La Chapelle is undeniably one of the Northern Rhone’s most iconic wines with a tremendous return to form in recent years thanks to the meticulous care taken by owner Caroline Frey. Today we are privileged to be able to offer the most recent vintage release, the 2019 of this exceptional wine which has been nearly without fault for five consecutive years. Jeb Dunnuck has already awarded it a stellar 96-98+, finding it to be, “with a focused, full-bodied style that carries impressive black and blue fruits, graphite, bloody meat, and ample minerality. Structured and tannic, yet wonderfully concentrated and pure, it’s not for those seeking instant gratification, but it’s another stunning Hermitage in the making.” While it has yet to be scored by the Wine Advocate, Matthew Jukes has found it to be quite literally off the scale at 20++ Points (out of a possible 20) comparing it to the sensational 1990, one of the greatest vintages of all time, “This is a monumental wine with the finest Syrah nose I have seen since the ethereal and intriguing beauty of the remarkable 2016 vintage and also the monolithic stance of the legendary 1990 […] In short, this is one of only a handful of vintages of La Chapelle to which I have awarded a perfect score and who is to say that this will not happen again before too long? The care and attention in this entire portfolio of wines are evident and the hard work and holistic approach are not only paying off in the vineyards but also in the glass, too, and this makes 2019 another phenomenally successful vintage for Jaboulet.” We are very pleased to be able to offer the 2019 vintage today at the release price of £726 per case of 6 IB or for £750 per 3 magnums, a tremendous price considering that the 1990 vintage is currently trading over £3,000 per case of 6.
We are also thrilled to be able to offer two wines which represent outstanding value from the Jaboulet range, the 2019 Hermitage La Maison Bleue (formerly La Petite Chapelle) as well as the Rhone aficionado favourite, Domaine de Thalbert’s Crozes Hermitage. Rhone expert Jeb Dunnuck has previously sung the praises of the unofficial second wine of La Chapelle, La Maison Bleue, “The Maison Bleue, is unquestionably a better wine than many past vintages of their flagship La Chapelle, and I suspect will age even longer.”  He has awarded the 2019 vintage with 94-96 Points, commenting, “Beautiful cassis, truffle, damp earth, and ground pepper emerge from the 2019 Hermitage La Maison Bleue. Coming from the eastern portion of Hermitage Hill, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a rounded, opulent texture, building tannins, and a great finish. It’s certainly in the same league (and style) as the 2018, and while it’s going to drink nicely at a young age, my money is on it evolving gracefully for 20-25 years.” Available today at the release price today of just £216 per case of 6 or £225 per 3 magnums, this absolutely should not be missed for those who simply can’t wait to try a fabulous preview of what the La Chapelle will have to offer further down the road.
And finally available today at just £99 per case of 6 IB (as well as in a variety of other formats) Jaboulet’s Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage is any true Rhone lover’s insider tip to buy up by the caseload. This is soundly supported by Jeb Dunnuck’s 94 Point Score, admiring the, “vibrant, elegant texture, present tannins, and good acidity, this is a classic, balanced Thalabert to hide for 2-4 years and enjoy over the following decade or more.” Jukes was even more effusive with his praise, raving, “this is another exuberant wine with an inky dark hue and masses of swirling, black fruit notes. […] In terms of accessibility and also potential, this wine is a conundrum – how can something so young and attractive also seem so compact and age-worthy? This is the key to all of Jaboulet’s 2019s. The exquisite balance between ravishing fruit and refreshing, robust tannins is mesmerising. This is a stupendous Thalabert and I think it is a notch up on the brilliant 2018.” With its fantastically affordable price-point and unrivalled place amongst the world’s most historic wineries, we urge you to secure the Thalabert in number today, ideally across a variety of different bottles sizes.
The history of Paul Jaboulet Aine estate dates back to 1834 when Antoine Jaboulet set up shop in Tain l’Hermitage, making it one of the longest dating of any winery or negociant in the world. Antoine believed in cultivating the immense quality of the surrounding vineyards and soon began acquiring some of the finest vineyards upon the slopes of Hermitage as well as the plains of Crozes-Hermitage. While vintages like 1961, 1978 and 1990 are considered some of the most legendary wines ever produced in any region, the estate then entered a fallow period following the passing of Gerard Jaboulet, until its 2006 purchase by the Frey Family of Third Classified Growth Chateau La Lagune. Under Caroline’s expert guidance, the estate has seen a swift return to form, as summarized by Jeb Dunnuck, “Caroline Frey… has singlehandedly brought this estate back to its former glory, particularly with their Hermitage releases.” The vineyards are now hand-picked and certified organically farmed with an increasing tendency towards biodynamics, biodiversity, and sustainability as well.
La Chapelle is a blend from the very best sites on the Hermitage hillside, from plots including Méal, Greffieux, Bessards and Rocoules. La Maison Bleue tends rely more upon the estate’s eastern plots of Hermitage, including Rocoules with a great emphasis on finesse and accessibility. Jaboulet’s Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage has the special distinction of being the very first vineyard purchased by Antoine Jaboulet back in 1834 and is the oldest vineyard within Crozes-Hermitage. Today the 40 hectares of 100% Syrah vines grown upon stony plains have an average age of 40-60 years with some as old as 80 years. The wine is then matured for 12 months in oak barrels, with 20% new barrels.