Robert Parker 95
The 2011 Hermitage la Chapelle continues to shine (I wrote “love it” in the notes) and shows the sunnier, perfumed style of the vintage. Black raspberry, crushed rocks, olive and licorice all emerge from this full-bodied, open, sweetly fruited Hermitage. It has plenty of sweet tannin and will last for 20+ years.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2040
(made from yields that ranged from 10 to 19 hectoliters per hectare, according to Caroline Frey): Inky ruby. Heady aromas of candied dark berries, incense, violet and licorice, with a smoky topnote that gains strength with aeration. Offers sweet, palate-staining blueberry and cherry-cola flavors that are lifted and sharpened by juicy acidity. Broad, supple and spicy on the finish, which features youthfully chewy tannins and sexy floral pastille and spicecake nuances. This wine is one of the standouts of the vintage in the entire Rhone Valley this vintage. (If you’re fortunate enough to own any of the 2010 La Chapelle count your blessings because it’s a stunner. While it’s years–maybe even decades–away from optimal drinking, there’s remarkable depth and power to its black and blue fruit and violet pastille qualities. There are tannins, to be sure, but they fold effortlessly into the wine’s lush fruit right now. If you have a few bottles in your cellar, give one a try to see just how impressively it shows in its youth, then hold the rest for later–probably much later.)
Very complex and glossy. Extremely accomplished. Quite aerien despite the solid base. Not at all heavy. But at the moment it fades a little on the finish.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2035