1990 Paul Jaboulet Aîné "La Chapelle" Hermitage
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)
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.
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.
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)
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.