2006 Domaine Philippe & Vincent Jaboulet Crozes-Hermitage Nouvelère
Last edited on 3/14/2011 by WNissen
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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:
\[Deleted copyrighted review text\]
There you have it...the deal speaks for itself.