Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Paul Jaboulet Aine

La Chapelle - On the right: The legendary Chapoutier l'Ermite vineyard

La Chapelle is owned by Paul Jaboulet Aine, although the surrounding vineyards belong to M Chapoutier. The main Hermitage vinyard owned by Paul Jaboulet is on the right hand side in the photo published in the Chapoutier post.

However, we start with a 100% Marsanne from Saint-Joseph. The 2014 Le Grand Pompée Blanc, made from purchased fruit, is fresh, with pleasant pear fruit flavours. The emphesis is on the texture. The wine has an attractive mouthfeel. This full-bodied white is matched with sufficient acidity to keep it lively. I liked this wine (91 points). The 2014 Domaine de Roure Blanc from an owned vineyard in Crozes Hermitage is a step up in complexity. The bunches are pressed whole and the wine sees 30% new oak. This Marsanne has a golden colour, with intense fruit flavours, yet an elegant mouthfeel and a lingering finish (94 points).

We finish with three reds. The 2007 Domaine de Roure is a 100% Shiraz from Crozes Hermitage. It shows blackberry and plum flavours, and the secondary flavours are of minerality, such as wet stones. This wine is a bit rough on the edges and the tannins are firm (90 points). The 2011 Domaine de Pierelles from the Cote Rotié comes from the famous Cote de Blonde vineyard, but I found the wine a bit bland. The blackberry flavours are soft and flinty, the tannins are firm on the finish (90 points).

Then it is a step back in time with the 1994 La Chapelle Hermitage. The wine has a blueberry nose and very complex flavours. There are violets, but also mushroom and tobacco. The wine is very elegant and balanced. It still has firm tannins as the backbone. This wine is not as intense as the Papillon by Chapoutier, but still has a great mouthfeel (94 points).

La Chapelle, after 20 years, was a memorable wine, but overall, I actually preferred the whites from Jaboulet, a surprising result.

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