Paul Jaboulet Aîné
One of the most recognised producers in the Rhône Valley, Jaboulet was first created in the early 1800s. Up until a couple of years ago, it remained family owned. Over time, it established its flagship Hermitage La Chapelle as one of the top wines of the region ranking it along Chave Hermitage and Guigal single-vineyard Côte-Rôties in quality. In the mid-late 1990s, quality became irregular due to the death of Gérard Jaboulet and other internal issues. In early 2006, the Jaboulet family sold their heralded domaine to the Frey family, owners of Château La Lagune in Bordeaux and major investors in Billecart-Salmon in Champagne. Since this change of hands, investment has been foremost - contributing to new winemaking facilities as well as creating a dramatic and imposing aging cellar sculpted out of an ancient quarry, a space that might put a superhero's headquarters to shame. Their goal is to put Jaboulet's range of wines back on the collector's map. Since their takeover,the results have been noticed. Even Robert Parker has stated, "I fully expect quality will dramatically soar at Jaboulet (just as it has at Château La Lagune in Bordeaux).." (The Wine Advocate, April 2007).
Hermitage is a region that produces both red and white wines. Its famous red is made from 100% Syrah while the white is produced from Marsanne and/or Roussanne. A sweeter and very rare white wine is also produced from grapes that have been dried on straw before being pressed. A slighter warmer micro-climate enables Hermitage's red wines to have more ripeness and structure than Côte Rôtie which adds additional power and longevity. As a result, they are usually the most ‘masculine' styled reds in all of the northern Rhône.