Robert Parker 95
A much more structured, even austere, Hermitage than the La Petite Chapelle release, the 2013 Hermitage la Chapelle came from minuscule yields of ten to 18 hectoliters per hectare and was aged 15-18 months in 20% new French oak. Not harvested until the 12th of October, it offers a sensational bouquet of blackberry and black raspberry fruits, powdered rock, gunpowder and pepper. Medium to full-bodied, with good (though maybe not great) levels of concentration, it has high, yet beautifully polished tannin, integrated acidity, and terrific cut and focus on the finish. Give bottles 4-5 years of cellaring and enjoy over the following two decades. Caroline Frey and winemaker Jacques Desvernois continue to make a bevy of high quality wines from throughout the Rhône Valley. Both their 2014s and 2013s show the vintage character nicely, and the wines show fresher, more elegant profiles without sacrificing too much density and depth. I’d like a touch more flesh and texture in a few of these latest releases, but there’s no denying the high quality coming from this estate today. One noteworthy change here is that after decades of working with Frederick Wildman & Sons, Paul Aîné Jaboulet will now be represented in the US by New York based Skurnik Wines. Hopefully this will lead to broader distribution and more access to these wines as there’s tons of value and quality in the lineup.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040
Bright purple. Sexy, highly perfumed scents of ripe boysenberry, cherry cola, smoky Indian spices and potpourri take on a vibrant mineral quality in the glass. Smooth, expansive and impressively deep, showing a surprisingly delicate touch to the sweet black and blue fruit, floral pastille and spicecake flavors. Smooth, slow-building tannins come up slowly and add focus to an extremely long, juicy, mineral- and floral-driven finish.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2031