Appellation: Hermitage A.C., Rhone
The name of Hermitage La Chapelle is linked to the little chapel of Saint-Christophe overlooking the terraced vineyards along the Rhône. Maison Paul Jaboulet Aîné has been the sole owner since 1919.
The diversity of “terroirs” on these lands gives our wine an identity of its own, thanks to the blending of grapes from different plots.
- FRA - Rhône
90 Points - The 2007 Hermitage La Chapelle is a pretty, dark ruby/plum-colored effort displaying aromas of camphor, loamy soil, pepper, herbs and red and black fruits. Medium to full-bodied, soft, round and expansive, it is an endearing Hermitage to enjoy over the next decade. The dramatic differences between the 2007 and 2009 are remarkable when these two wines are tasted side by side.
It did not take long for Caroline Frey to whip this somewhat rudderless (following the death of Gerard Jaboulet in the late 1990s) estate into shape. The first few years were transitionary ones, but in 2009 she was aided by what is an exceptional vintage in the Northern Rhone as well as low yields at Jaboulet (20 hectoliters per hectare at Les Bessards and 25 hectoliters per hectare at Le Meal). The result is the greatest vintage at Jaboulet since 1990. Moreover, it is clear they have moved away from a large negociant operation to estate-bottled domaine wines, which all of the following represent. If you have been off the Jaboulet bandwagon over the last decade or so, now is the time to jump back on for both whites and reds. They still own just under 300 acres spread throughout the Rhone Valley, with their biggest holdings 52 acres in Hermitage and 112+ acres at their Domaine de Thalabert in Crozes-Hermitage. As I have indicated before, the Frey family has instituted a strict selection process in order to cull out the finest lots for their flagship wine - Hermitage La Chapelle. Production used to be 8,000-10,000 cases, but for the 2009 Hermitage La Chapelle, which will be the greatest La Chapelle since 1990 and 1978, there are only 2,000 cases. The white wines have jumped considerably in quality. Most are now put through 100% malolactic.
Rating 90 - Drink 2011 - 2021 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (FEB/2011)
Winery Tasting Notes
Intense ruby red, limpid and bright.
Highly complex, distinguished nose, revealing the Syrah’s great finesse. Black fruits, sweet spices and, ultimately, finely woody.
Full and generous, silky tannins and a very long finish.
Tournedos rossini, Braised veal sweetbread with morels, Roast squab with cèpes
16 to 18°.
Best enjoyed within:
15 to 25 years.