Paul Jaboulet Hermitage la Chapelle 2007
Four and a half glasses
External Reviews for Paul Jaboulet Hermitage la Chapelle
The '91 La Chapelle has the dense black fruit of other '91 Hermitage wines we tasted, but with a difference: balance. The acidity is far from searing, but it's strong enough to create a lusciousness, a beehive of activity as the wine enters the mouth. That balance helps create a dramatic wine, with some power and intensity (though a shade of the '90 vintage). It has the rugged character that reminds of the steep rock cliffs of the Hermitage vineyard.
The wine world was stunned and saddened by the loss of Gerard Jaboulet this year, and this wine, the estate's jewel in the crown, is a fitting tribute. It's vivid, lush, international-style Hermitage, polished and lavishly oaked, stuffed with ripe flavors of plums, prunes, chocolate and toast. The firm tannins dominate now, but it should smooth out and gain in complexity with age.
Smell this wine and you're smelling Hermitage, from the warm granite baking in the sun at the top of the hill to the ripeness of the fruit hanging on the vines to the garrigue that surrounds them. Those scents continue into the taste, carried on sandy, firm tannins, dense yet fragrant. It's powerful wine, the alcohol extra fuel to the roasted cherry flavors, yet it somehow remains elegant, streamlined, all of a piece. It's a bit shut down right now, so leave it in the cellar for another few years.
Very good ruby-red color. Perfumed nose of black- and redcurrants, grilled meat and chocolate. Large-scaled, layered and superripe, with strong inner-mouth flavor. Yet rather closed today. Young La Chapelle often shows a resiny, damp earth, ever raisiny oxidative aspect when tasted early, but there's no sign of this today. Thicker, more powerful and longer than the '96: the yield here was just 30 hectoliters per hectare, compared to 38 in '96.
A saturated purple/plum color is accompanied by gamy, blackberry, and smoked meat aromas. While this wine is rich and full-bodied, the question marks reflects its gritty, astringent tannin and austere personality. At present, it is less of a sure bet than the 1996 or 1997. However, it is a large-scaled, boldly-flavored, but ferociously tannic La Chapelle. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2035.
The 1997 Hermitage La Chapelle has begun to completely close down, which is surprising in view of how sweet, seductive, and precocious this vintage can be. However, the color seems to get deeper with exposure to air (the wine was far more drinkable after 24 hours of aeration than it was upon opening). The moderately intense bouquet exhibits plenty of ripe blackberry and cherry fruit, in addition to spicy, mineral characteristics. There is considerable weight and volume, but the wine is tight, and nearly impenetrable, leaving an impression of a large, deep, four-square monolith in need of 7-10 years of cellaring - at the minimum. This is an outstanding Hermitage La Chapelle that will have at least three decades of positive evolution. For readers intent on committing infanticide, open and decant it 12-24 hours in advance. The improvement is dramatic. Perhaps it is Jacques Jaboulet's preference to bottle with very high levels of CO2 (1200 ppm) that makes this wine so difficult to taste in its youth. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025.
This ripe, vivid and lush Rhône is made in an international-style, lavishly oaked, with seductive plum, prune, chocolate and toast flavors. Known to improve with age, so hold until 1999 or so, until the firm tannins have smoothed out.
Food Pairings for Paul Jaboulet Hermitage la Chapelle
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