Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage la Chapelle 2003
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External Reviews for Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage la Chapelle
The finest example of this cuvee since 1990, the 2003 Hermitage La Chapelle (50,000 bottles rather than the normal 96,000+ were produced) possesses an inky/purple color as well as a tremendous bouquet of creme de cassis, crushed flowers, truffles, and licorice. Full-bodied and powerful (15% natural alcohol) with good freshness and definition, this big, rich, dense, reassuringly great La Chapelle should be cellared for 5–8 years, and drunk over the following 20–25.
Deceptively graceful at first, with a Burgundian-like perfume, this quickly delivers a torrent of fruit — blackberry, boysenberry and black currant — that cascades over itself, pushed from behind by flavors of mocha, mineral, tar and violets. Long, sweet and pure through a densely structured finish. Best from 2008 through 2030.
Displays velvety blackberry fruit with smoky spice on the finish. Perfect with lamb.
Not up to the level of Jaboulet’s Domaine de Thalabert bottling, the 2003 Les Jalets is nevertheless a very good wine, offering peppery, herbal and red-fruit aromas and flavors of tart cherries and green olives. Despite the red-green character of the fruit, the mouthfeel is smooth and slightly creamy. Turns crisp on the finish.
Deep, saturated ruby. Intensely spicy aromas of blackberry, bitter cherry, tobacco and minerals, with a complicating note of black pepper that became more pronounced with air. This is quite fresh and lively for the vintage, showing tangy red and dark berry flavors and a solid, chewy texture. Finishes with considerable finesse.
This well-known Rhone négociant, owned by the Jaboulet family since 1834, was sold earlier this year to Jean-Jacques Frey, owner of Château La Lagune and part-owner of Billecart-Salmon. Heat and drought in 2003 resulted in dramatically lower yields than normal for this estate red. The Syrah grapes were fermented in glass-lined concrete vats for three weeks and spent 18 months aging in barrel (less than 50 percent new oak) before being bottled, unfiltered.
Massively built, this swaggers like a prizefighter, its deep, staining flavors of black fruits and molasses throbbing with raw, smoky power. It’s clearly in need of time, but it will always be a wine that thrives on muscularity rather than finesse or complexity. It’s impressive for the sheer scale of its fruit and the way that the ripeness is controlled within a structured frame. Be prepared for a heady, full-throttled experience.