Hermitage La Chapelle 2013


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Tasting Notes

Tasted at Château La Lagune, owner Caroline Frey's Bordeaux outpost. One of the legendary wines from Hermitage Hil, La Chapelle comes from pretty much the only spot on the Rhone's Left Bank where you find granite, along with the classic galet stones. The Jaboulet style is to blend their plots from across the hill, resulting in the stunning power of this wine. The complexity here is of the kind that reveals a truly great wine. There are so many things happening, graphite, slate, fleshy layers of blackberry fruits that collide immediately afterwards by a tightly controlled edge of tannins, then the whole thing finishes slowly, cleanly. Incredible.

Score: 97

Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2020 - 2042 01 December 2017

Plenty of pepper on the nose. This has a striking, granitic influence with graphite, black stones, beef fat and sweet spices, as well as plenty of star anise and dark, rich plums. The palate has rich, deep fleshy fruit that has really filled out nicely. Tannins are fine and gently grippy. There's plenty of dark plum flesh with some mocha and chocolate, too. Acidity is bright. Drinking well now, but will shine from 2025.

Score: 94

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com Maturity: 2025+ 06 July 2017

Features a slightly taut frame, with singed cedar and balsamic notes clipping the wings of the red currant, cherry paste and plum fruit flavors. Tar and sage details line the finish. There's some depth here and good ripeness for the vintage, but not the volume or range of the best wines from this appellation. Drink now through 2023.

Score: 90

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Maturity: 2016-2023 30 September 2016

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.

Score: 95

Josh Raynolds, Vinous.com Maturity: 2022 - 2031 01 March 2016

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.

Score: 95

Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2020-2040 31 December 2015