Rating (93 - 95)
Release Price NA
Drink Date 2020 - 2030
Reviewed by Joe Czerwinski
Issue Date 19th Dec 2019
Source December 2019 Week 3, The Wine Advocate
Although the fruit sourcing has changed from the old days, the 2018 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert remains a solid offering in the Jaboulet lineup. Violets accent blackberries and plums on the nose, while the palate is full-bodied, lush and velvety, underscored by doses of salinity and licorice on the lengthy finish.
With properties now in Bordeaux (Château La Lagune), Burgundy (the former Château Corton André) and Switzerland (she purchased a vineyard in the Valais in 2016), proprietor Caroline Frey is increasingly drawn in different directions, so I was fortunate to be able to sit down with her for a few hours at Michelin-starred Maison Chabran in nearby Pont de l'Isère. She brought representative barrel samples of the 2018s, plus the bottled 2017s, which we tasted through before dining. This year, Frey was excited to show me the 2017 Côtes du Rhône Parallele 45, which is now made using only organic grapes. At up to two million bottles (red, white and rosé) per year, that's no small achievement. But as always, we spent the most time on the wines produced from the firm's own vineyards, which are all farmed biodynamically. Frey explained that they cannot be certified, as the winery also processes grapes and wines from the négociant operations. The grapes are all destemmed, although she said they will experiment with whole clusters. "When we did it in 2013, for me it was not OK," she said. She has begun doing more pigeage (punching down) in the winery, versus just remontage (pumping over). "We have good results on the texture—fleshier." The glory of Jaboulet is the legendary Hermitage La Chapelle, which is finally reflecting all of the hard work put into the vineyards by the Frey family and the Jaboulet team. "We still have many things to do," said Frey. "But I think in the past 13 years we've come a long way."