TN: 1995 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle

Dark fruit, roasted meat, coffee, blood, black olives, black fruits and singed earth on the nose. On the palate it is full scaled and broad but with enough acidity to give it some lift. Dark fruit that, if I am to focus on the negative, seems a little muddled, then roasted meat, coffee, white pepper, more blood, black olive, and blood orange citrus kind of brightness that added lift to the otherwise broad stroked wine. It was pretty full scaled, and a bit foursquare and lacked excitement for me. I don’t want to convey this was not very enjoyable and solidly made wine. It was an outstanding wine, but not a terribly memorable wine. I would prefer a little more lift and savory/meatiness. I think this is drinking at peak with no fear of decline soon, but I also do not foresee this gaining much more than it has. (90 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Thank you for sharing…I haven’t had any of these with this kind of age, but I appreciate the write-up, it sounds like it’s exactly what I was hoping/expecting from Hermitage.

I think that was viewed as a so-so ear for Jaboulet, no?

I bought a half case of the '94, which gave a great deal of pleasure from a fairly early stage because the tannins and acid were always pretty soft. But it didn’t really deliver a serious Hermitage punch.

Nice notes Todd. You mention white pepper among many other inclusions and my experience with the 95` and almost all others in the 90s is that they are full of pepper and spice in the nose and thereafter; in fact, for me, that has been the one most distinguishing characteristic. Must not have been the case here.

Thanks for your thoughts Blake. I suspect this wine got too much wood or at a minimum unbalanced wood application and it muddled the syrah varietal character. As a contrast, Chave has it in spades in '95. This wine, while clearly Syrah in nature, seems like a little bit of a clunky foursquare wine that lost some of its detail and savory/ spice/ lift/ intrigue (to steal a Tom Hill diction technique) somewhere behind the wood/ extraction. That’s my guess at least. Also thanks for your sharing so regularly, I enjoy your posts and enthusiasm they convey.

Cheers,

Had the 94’ recently and it was pretty delicious, not what I would associate with classic Hermitage profile, certainly more ‘Burgundian’…

Actually I prefer the ´94 and ´91 to the ´95 La Chapelle. The latter is lacking a bit sweet fruit and concentration, imho not from too much (new) wood but from not enough strict selection and maybe too much stem inclusion …
They did introduce the 2nd wine “Petite Chapelle” only in 2001, after disapointing 1998/99/2000s …
However the 1996 and ´97 are superior to the ´95 … but the vintages ´94/´95 should be available quite cheap these days at auction, and they are still excellent (if not really outstanding) Hermitages …

I remember when I collected my 1995s in summer 1997 I heard the sad news that Gerard Jaboulet died from a heart attack only 3 weeks before … very depressed mood in the company that summer …

That’s a good description of the structure and mouthfeel. I recall it tasting Rhonish, though.