2019 Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, Domaine Mule Blanche, Paul Jaboulet Aîné, Rhône

2019 Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, Domaine Mule Blanche, Paul Jaboulet Aîné, Rhône

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2019 Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, Domaine Mule Blanche, Paul Jaboulet Aîné, Rhône

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About this WINE

Jaboulet

Jaboulet

Jaboulet produces some of the world's greatest wines in Rhone with Hermitage La Chapelle being its most famous wine.

Jaboulet was for many years run by Gérard Jaboulet, who was one of the great ambassadors for Rhône wines, tirelessly travelling the world and spreading the Gospel according to the Holy Grail of Hermitage. He died suddenly in 1997 and the firm has been run by Philippe &  Jacques Jaboulet, until 2006 when the real estate entrepreneur Jean-Jacques Frey purchased the wine company.

The Frey family has  of long standing in the Champagne region and are owners of Château La Lagune in Bordeaux.  Jacques and Nicolas Frey are now involved in the day-to-day running of the Maison Jaboulet, while Caroline Frey (pictured right), the eldest daughter, is at the helm of the wine-making team. Under Caroline’s leadership, in 2006, the vineyards earned Sustainable Farming status while Jaboulet's winegrowing is in the course of conversion towards biodynamic certification. 

Jaboulet produces wine from 26 different appellations in the Rhône. Hermitage La Chapelle is named after the small hermit's Chapel built in 1235 on the Hermitage hill, the wine regularly rivals Bordeaux 1st Growths for its incredible array of flavours - fruity and enticing when young but acquiring complex leathery and gamey overtones with age.

Jaboulet's 45-hectare Domaine de Thalabert vineyard in Crozes Hermitage produces very high quality wines which are superior to most growers` Hermitages.

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Crozes-Hermitage

Crozes-Hermitage

Crôzes-Hermitage is the largest AC in the Northern Rhône, producing 10 times the volume of Hermitage and over half of the Northern Rhône’s total production.  The appellation was created in 1937 with the single commune of Crozes, which is situated northeast of the hill of Hermitage. Wines are now produced from 11 different communes.

Its vineyards surround the hill of Hermitage on equally hilly terrain where richer soils produce wines that are softer and fruitier, with a more forward style. The Syrah variety is used, but legally Marsanne and Roussanne can be added to the blend (up to 15 percent). In the north, the commune of Gervans is similar to Les Bessards in Hermitage, with granite soil producing tannic reds that need time to evolve.

While in Larnage, in the south, the heavy clay soils give the wine breadth and depth (albeit they can sometimes be flabby), the soils to the east of river on higher ground comprise stony, sandy and clay limestone, making them ideal for the production of white wines.

The best reds are produced on the plateaus of Les Chassis and Les Sept Chenin, which straddles the infamous N7 road to the south of Tain. Here the land is covered with cailloux roulés, which resemble the small pudding stones fond in Châteauneuf.

The wines can vary hugely in quality and style, and the majority of the reds tend to be fairly light. Many of the wines are made by a variation of the macération carbonique technique, bottled no later than one year after the vinification. The best producers, however, use traditional fermentation techniques.

There are small amounts of white wine made from Marsanne and Roussanne, accounting for approximately 10 percent of the appellation. The finest whites are produced from around Mercurol.

Recommended producers: Paul JabouletChapoutierColombier, Ferraton
Best vintages: 2006, 2005, 2004, 1999, 1995, 1990, 1989, 1988,

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Marsanne

Marsanne

Marsanne is the predominant white grape variety grown in the Northern Rhône where it is used to produce white St. Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, and Hermitage. It is a tricky grape to cultivate, being susceptible to diseases and being particularly sensitive to extreme climatic changes - if growing conditions are too cool, then it fails to ripen fully and produces thin, insipid wines, while, if too hot, the resultant wines are blowsy, overblown and out of balance.

In the Northern Rhône it tends to be blended with around 15% Rousanne and produces richly aromatic, nutty wines which age marvellously - the best examples are from Hermitage and particularly from Chapoutier. Increasingly it is being grown in the Southern Rhône and Languedoc Roussillon where it is bottled as a single varietal or blended with Roussanne, Viognier, and sometimes Chardonnay. It is also grown very successfully in Victoria in Australia where some of the world`s oldest Marsanne vines are to be found.

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