2009 Paul Jaboulet Aîné "La Chapelle" Hermitage (torn labels)

SKU #1300250 98 points James Suckling

 Lots of ripe fruit in this, with plum and blackberry character. Very floral and fresh with citrus undertones, dried meats and smoke. Full body with an incredible texture of ultra-fine tannins, and length and beauty. This is like the unrated, incredible 1959. Incredible harmony and beauty. I am speechless. Drink or hold. This will be wonderful for ever.  (12/2014)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 As I wrote last year, the 2009 Hermitage La Chapelle is easily the greatest, most profound La Chapelle since the 1990. Most of this cuvee comes from Le Meal and Les Bessards vineyards, with a touch of Les Roucoules fruit in the blend. It is an opaque purple-colored wine with enormous concentration in addition to an extraordinary bouquet of graphite, creme de cassis, blackberries, licorice, beef blood and a touch of smoked game. Boasting phenomenal intensity, a full-bodied mouthfeel and 50 years of longevity, the only thing that could possibly hold it back is that most consumers should plan on laying it away for 8-10 years. 97+ (RP)  (12/2011)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque purple. Complex, highly fragrant aromas of candied dark fruits, cola, incense and violet, with bright mineral and spice nuances adding lift and energy. Stains the palate with deep blackberry and boysenberry flavors that expand and gain sweetness with aeration. Refuses to let up on the finish, which leaves peppery spice and floral pastille notes behind.  (4/2012)

95 points Wine Spectator

 *Collectibles* This is packed and well-rendered, with notes of fig, boysenberry confiture and ganache at the core and powerful structure pushing from behind. Shows plenty of roasted tobacco and vanilla bean on the slightly stolid finish, but there's a density and brooding length here that sets it apart form the pack. Best from 2017 through 2032.  (6/2012)

Jancis Robinson

 Lovely, pure black fruit aromas. Gorgeous fragrance too. Tender but prominent tannins, fine balance and a lovely spicy hint on the finish. Just entering its drinking window. Serious and aristocratic. (RH)  (9/2014)

K&L Notes

Quoting Robert Parker: "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. A second wine of Hermitage, La Petite Chapelle, is fashioned from 33% or more of the production that is culled out to guarantee that the great reputation of the Hermitage La Chapelle has enjoyed over the last century is maintained." (12/2011)

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- 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.
Country:

France

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Rhone

- 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.
Specific Appellation:

Hermitage/Crozes-Hermitage