One of the great red wines of the world - 2010 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle

Posted by Ian McFadden

Rhône Royalty at the Tipping Point
2010 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle
750s & Magnums

"One of the great red wines of the world." -Clive Coates

Jaboulet's La Chapelle is a crown jewel of not only the Rhône, but the entire wine world.

There are a lot of ways to frame this, but the easiest may be to mention the 1961 La Chapelle, which critic after critic classes among the best wines they've ever tasted. Parker calls it: "one of the greatest wines ever made."

Along with J.L. Chave's Hermitage and Chapoutier's Le Pavillon, Jaboulet's La Chapelle is a majestic expression of what the steep, rocky Hermitage hill can produce. The wine is an extraordinary weave of dark fruits, spice and minerals. The intensity is almost ruthless, the elegance heartbreaking.

We're big fans of 2010 in the Rhone - the wines combine clarity and concentration in a way that we love. Today marks our first offer of the region's "big boys" from the vintage, Jaboulet's epic 2010 La Chapelle in both 750s and magnums - both are at the lowest prices out there by a long shot.

If you're interested in this legend of Hermitage, I strongly encourage you to reply ASAP. It's unlikely that you'll see better pricing, but more importantly, yields in 2010 were way, way down - by as much 50%. La Chapelle, along with other elites of the Rhône, will likely vanish from the market place. Our advice is to act now.

This is a very exciting time for Jaboulet and their La Chapelle. Caroline Frey's 2006 entrance as winemaker has guided the estate to producing some of the best wines in the past couple decades. Under Caroline's command, selections are more severe and yields are dramatically down.

In the 2009 and 2010, these changes met with strong vintages and the quality of La Chapelle hit undeniable tipping point. They'll turn what promises to be an awe-inspiring and long-lived wine into something bordering on immortal.

Compared to the amply fruited and powerful 2009, 2010 is precise, fresh, and with vivid soil inflections. Parker's note on the 2010 La Chapelle touches on all the aspects that make this vintage great:"Wonderfully crisp acids, a well-focused, delineated style, medium to full body, and abundant blackberry, cassis, camphor, licorice, subtle smoke and crushed rock-like characteristics." His full tasting note is below and well worth a read.

La Chapelle is Jaboulet's flagship wine, named for the iconic chapel purchased by Jaboulet in 1919 that stands atop Hermitage, the guardian of its south-facing slope of granite, schist and gneiss. The wines for La Chapelle are selected from a barrel by barrel tasting and the best wines are earmarked to be blended. Two of Hermitage's top sites, Le Méal and Les Bessards, form the backbone of La Chapelle with Les Greffieux Les Rocoules and at times, Diognières and La Croix making up the rest of the blend.

There is an energy and an immediacy of bright fruit to the 2010s that allow even heavy hitters like Jaboulet's La Chapelle to be in enjoyable today - just give the wine a good decant. However, this early accessibility belies what a distance running this bottle promises to be. Parker has it pegged as a 30 year wine "that should develop an extraordinary set of aromatics with additional aging."

As you can imagine, quantities are very limited. Please give us your maximum order and we will parcel them out as fairly as possible.

To order, please e-mail us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits