Robert Parker 92
The 1998 vintage was the first full vintage for winemaker Laurent Jaboulet. The 1998 Hermitage la Chapelle is a solid, complex, medium to full-bodied, elegant and fully mature la Chapelle that offers perfumed notes of Asian spices, dried flowers, ground herbs and sweet, dark fruits. Charming, supple and drinking nicely today, I’d lean toward enjoying bottles over the coming 5-10 years while it’s still holding onto its pretty core of fruit.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025
Red-ruby. Expressive nose combines currant, roast coffee, chicory, underbrush and smoke. Suave yet penetrating in the mouth, with complex flavors of redcurrant, iron, minerals, smoke and tobacco. Finishes with dusty tannins and excellent length, though there still some acidity to be absorbed. This is showing well now, though its slightly more advanced aromatics suggest it will not be as long-lived as the ’99.
100% Syrah, 20% new oak. This pre-dates the acquisition of Jaboulet by the Freys. Rich, sautéed elderberries on the nose. Powerful and less austere and uncompromising than the Chapoutier but as though the fruit had been boiled out of the mid palate. Diffuse with acids pinching the finish. The tannins are still a little rustic. Leathery finish. It’s very good red wine but I don’t think it’s very good Hermitage.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030