1990 Paul Jaboulet Aîné "La Chapelle" Hermitage

SKU #966130 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1990 Hermitage La Chapelle lived up to its reputation on this occasion, and of the three titans (1990, 1978 and 1961), it was probably my favorite. Still inky colored and ruby at the rim, it offers an absolutely profound bouquet of sweet cassis, smoked meats, chocolate, licorice and spice. This is followed by a full-bodied, insanely textured, pure and hedonistic palate that has that perfect mix of still-vibrant fruit and ample secondary nuances. I suspect the '61 was even richer at this stage, but the overall purity and freshness here are incredible. (JD)  (9/2015)

98 points James Suckling

 Gorgeous aromas of dark berry, dried meat, dried berry, game, wet earth and licorice. Floral. Full body with a wonderful texture of dried fruits, spices and berries. Very dense and muscular with wonderful balance and length. Dense and intense. Blockbuster style.  (12/2014)

97 points Wine Spectator

 As expected from this ideal vintage, this '90 is sensational. Inky in color and solidly anchored in its terroir, it springs to life with a symphony of flavors, from mineral to wet earth and blackberry. Marvelous balance among fruit, acidity and smooth tannins.  (12/1999)

96 points Vinous

 Rh?ne lovers were out in full force on this night. Sadly, I only got to taste a handful of the wines being passed around. Still, these were four of the greatest wines I have ever tasted. The 1990 La Chapelle held its own in this grouping, and then some. The purity of the fruit and the wine’s finish were mind-bending. (AG)  (7/2010)

Jancis Robinson

 Very deep crimson. Extraordinarily youthful-looking for a 1990! Smells very introvert yet sumptuous. Essence of old-ladies’ handbags. Solid and as though everything – but everything – was thrown into the fermentation vat. Still so young!!! This could be another 1961…? Very clean finish. Minty. 18.5/20 points.  (5/2015)

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Price: $399.99
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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market. View our bestselling Rhone Valley wines.
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