2009 Paul Jaboulet Aîné "Thalabert" Crozes-Hermitage
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The greatest Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert since the magnificent 1990 is the 2009. Jaboulet has nearly 100 acres in this appellation, and the 2009, which is bursting with potential, represents a great buy for Syrah lovers. Its dense purple color is followed by an explosive bouquet of blackberries, sweet cherries, licorice, Provencal olives, graphite and subtle smoke. Full-bodied with silky tannins as well as a terrific mouthfeel and palate penetration, this gorgeous offering should drink well for 15 or more years. One needs no further evidence of the extraordinary turn around in the quality of the Jaboulet wines than what proprietress Caroline Frey has accomplished in 2009 as well as 2010. As I indicated last year, this is one of the great qualitative turn arounds in the wine world. It is welcomed by all wine lovers given the historic legacy of the wines of Jaboulet and the importance of this famous firm in all of France. Ms. Frey, who is also responsible for the brilliant wines produced at La Lagune in Bordeaux, has reduced the amount of new oak for the red wines to about 20% and to negligible proportions for the whites.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark purple. Blackberry, kirsch and violet on the nose, with smoky minerals and cracked pepper gaining strength with air. Juicy dark berry flavors smoothly combine depth and vivacity, with zesty minerality carrying into the finish. Finishes sweet and very long, with resonating spiciness and florality.
Despite this wine’s thick veneer of toasty, vanilla-scented oak, it has plenty of underlying fruit, powerful enough to handle the wood. It’s full bodied, dense and richly textured, with a long, velvety finish redolent of blackberries and cedar. Approachable now, but should easily age through 2025.
Ripe and fleshy, with a velvety feel that allows plum sauce, mocha, cocoa powder and crushed blackberry fruit flavors to all meld and glide along. Dense, but supple through the finish and approachable now. Drink now through 2017.