Still young, vibrant and fresh, with a deep hue, the wine popped with a complicated perfume packed with boysenberry liqueur, black cherry, flowers, herbs, pepper, licorice, spice and forest floor aromas. Rich, concentrated, powerful and structured, there is a regal quality to the fruit that shines through every step of the way. I've had slightly better bottles that merited triple digits. But this was very close. Drink this now, or age it for decades.
With '86 Lafite Rothschild at 131 Main, with steaks and BBQ ribs. Both wines were perfect, equally outstanding, but completely different styles. La Chapelle was dark garnet-purple and still completely opaque, no sign of lightening at the edges. The aroma had an initial pronounced herbal-bell pepper tone, which gradually changed over several hours to become deeper and richer, with some bacon fat, mocha, and dark fruits/cassis components. Very concentrated but perfectly balanced flavors which improved over several hours. Initially closed and moderately tannic, it opened up completely. Tannins melted away, to show a perfectly balanced, complex series of flavors from cassis, blackberries, powerful but silky. Full-bodied, drank like a wine much younger than its 23 years. One of the longest and most memorable aftertastes of any wine I've tasted in 40+ years, just didn't quit. Four hours after opening it's still getting better, and there's still a glass left! Two bottles left: considering how it has evolved over several hours, I would open the others several hours before serving, to let it soften and develop its complexities. This wine will last for years. Ric
Had the 89 and the 90 side by side and it was like a horse race where at each tasting one wine was superior to the next. The 89 has really improved in the last two years and is supple, sexy and rich with a long, luscious finish. The 90 is big, precise and still young and amazing in its own right. next time, open the 90 an hour or two earlier than the 89.
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(Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle) Very dark red violet color; animal fur, gamey, borscht, malted chocolate ball, iron and mineral nose; roasted plum, tart plum, tart cherry and chocolate palate; long finish 93+ pts.
(Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle) Dark red violet color; sexy, bacon, roasted meat, black fruit and herbes nose; gorgeous, elegant, tart red fruit, salty plum, dried red fruit, graphite, smoke, tar and roasted meat palate, with depth; long finish
(Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle) Deep red violet color; funky, horseradish, black fruit, charcoal and clove nose; black fruit, clove, mint and graphite palate; medium+ finish 93+ pts. (group's WOTF and WOTN)
(Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle) Perfect fill; black red violet with red violet meniscus; plum, black fruit, bay leaf and bacon fat nose; very youthful, tangy, luscious black fruit, plum, bay leaf palate, with roasted meat edges, that fully opened, after an hour or so, adding pepper and black olives to the palate; long finish 100+ pts. (perfect pairing with a rare maigret and fresh haricot vert salad on arrival at my dear friends' restored farmhouse in the Languedoc)
(Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle) Dark garnet red color; tart plum, black fruit, fig and leather nose; gorgeous, concentrated, elegant Syrah, plum and black fruit palate with a beefy note, young yet; long finish 96+ pts. WOTF
(Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle) SuperSomm noted ‘a hint of chicken shit’ in 1990 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle. It had a buttery nose with percolating hints of acid, but its palate seemed really evolved and jammy. It was smooth and satiny, but I wanted and expected more from this wine (94).
(Jaboulet Hermitage .La Chapelle.) Wendy was all over the .chocolate chip cookie dough. aspect, which I saw. The nose was incredibly complex full of deep, meaty, figgy fruit. There were raisins, molasses, menthol and roasted earth as well. The nose was far ahead of the palate, which was tight, rusty and earthy with black fruits. The wine was certainly outstanding, but the fruit on the palate was not in a great spot. The structure was amazing, however, with a huge, long and well-bred finish full of earth, dust and spice
(Jaboulet La Chapelle) had an incredible nose that was full, rich and meaty with the Rhone game, fabulous earth, smoke, stone and plummy, figgy fruit underneath. There was great balance of fruit and spice, structure and fruit, and a pinch of pepper. The structure was huge, very long but lots of finesse to its dry length
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