Northern Rhone Dear Friends,
Today’s offer was supposed to be Mystery Wine #19 (the price is so low, they were quite concerned about harming the brand) but in the end, the decision was made to reveal the winery and name of the wine itself.
Without mucking up something that centers on an “OH MY GOSH!” tariff, here you go...
When the Jaboulet family went their separate ways a few years ago, they were forced to split their storied Thalabert holding in Crozes with Philippe and Vincent retaining a princely parcel of the original/heirloom vineyard. Both Philippe and Vincent knew what they had and they decided to create a new wine with a new philosophy that would stress terroir, hands-off winemaking and a direction that better reflects current French culture and where they believed the wine-world was heading. It would be one of their flagship wines, a very costly bottle of Crozes-Hermitage by any standards ($35-50, some have it for around $75) named Nouvelere (“Nouvelle” for the new direction and “ere” for era – so, “new era”).
Mother Nature was kind to them in their first vintage, 2006, a top campaign in the Northern Rhone that produced a bevy of excellent wine. The problem? They used a regimen of neutral cooperage that (I believe) made the wine too aggressive and severe for most drinkers expecting a light-hearted Crozes. The result was something closer to a muted modern Cornas that would go well with a grilled steak but the wood/tannin/extract ratio marked the style more than the varietal – it was just not right for a $35-50 wine that was intended to stress terroir and natural methodology. For $13+? How many cases can I have?
What we are left with is a grand-cru attempt, from a top vintage (in a lovely bottle with expensive cork, etc) that was too difficult to understand on the open market. After a few years in bottle, the wine has softened and the deep-toned Syrah is just now coming to the surface. With 2007 and 2009 backing up and set for release, there was no time to wait for this to evolve into something interesting – it had to go.
That’s where you come in...
Today we have the most expensive wine being produced in Crozes-Hermitage for the cost of an AOC Syrah bottling and it just may turn a wide-eyed corner if left alone for another 2-4 years (although a number of the tasters I opened it with last week already thought it was the best wine on the dinner table).
Here are a few other opinions:
Josh Raynolds: “($40); Bright ruby color. Sexy aromas of black raspberry, violet, pipe tobacco and burning leaves. Pliant, medium-weight dark berry and bitter cherry flavors are supported by gentle acidity and given a bitter edge by cherry pit and skin qualities. Gains sweetness on the finish, which leaves smoky mineral and herb notes behind. This is already showing good complexity. This site was Jaboulet Aine's Thalabert vineyard and was kept by Philippe and Vincent Jaboulet after the family domain's sale to the Frey family. 88pts”
Wine Spectator: “($40); Dark and juicy, with lots of currant and fig notes supported by a tarry backbone. Bittersweet cocoa and warm raspberry ganache notes fill out the juicy, structured finish. Best from 2009 through 2014. 91pts”
There you have it...the deal speaks for itself.
This parcel is in perfect condition with impeccable provenance:
2006 Jaboulet (P & V) Crozes-Hermitage “Nouvelére” - $13.80 (IWC88)(WS91) (this is not the regular P & V Jaboulet Crozes-Hermitage, which is around $20 - this is the high-priced Nouvelere - compare at $35-75; if we run out, a small amount of Nouvelere from our parcel was just distributed in California for around $20, which is still a crazy price)