This bottle was very evolved with hints of imminent break-up. Colour still quite vigorous with little bricking. Nose very open, rich and complex but showing signs of incipient madérisation with balsamic and varnish (VA?) notes but also a faint hint of cabbage. Palate was quite full bodied and deep but over-ripe with varnished ripe fruit, mainly sweet plum, round leather and tar touches and a somewhat porty finish. I hope my remaining bottle is fresher than this one.
Very structured. Savory, some camphor notes. Dense plum and blackberry fruits intermingle with leather and undergrowth and a touch of dense vanilla/camphor notes. A touch of farmyard completes the involving nose. Brilliant balance and rather dense in structure, mouthfeel and finish, yet it also feels lithe and has a leanness that adds clarity. Very impressive in the context of the vintage. Earlier in its life, this did not come across as particularly complex or intense and felt less involved than the Tardieu Laurent from the same vintage. However, now the positions seem very much reversed with the TL coming across as simple and over oaked while the Jaboulet is clearly becoming a very involving bottle. While Jaboulet seemed to go through a stylistic change in 1989, this wine (at least to me) harkens back to vintages such as 1985 (although with more density). I see this wine improving as well... Next in 2=5 years. 93+
Alsace and Austria Tasting: Blind. Chocolate, earth, blackcurrant, cherry and tar. The palate is settled, with the tannins still providing a backbone but not standing aside from the other components. Not in urgent need to drink this, but it was very good now and it felt like it was in a good place.
Uninteresting and boring showing very little Hermitage character initially. Did improve with several hours of air, but remained too polished and too neutral to create excitement. Maybe time will make this more complex, who knows.
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(Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle) Bricking medium dark red violet color; roasted plum, tart currant, bacon fat nose; roasted plum, bacon fat, mineral, tart black fruit palate; medium-plus finish