The 2021 Hermitage La Chapelle, 100% Syrah, is medium to deep garnet-purple in color. It needs a little coaxing to bring out beautifully perfumed notes of black cherries, violets, and black raspberries, leading to wafts of charcoal, cracked black pepper, and wild sage with a hint of iron ore. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly crafted and refreshing, with very soft tannins and a long aniseed-laced finish. This was the year the name was changed from Jaboulet's La Chapelle to Domaine de La Chapelle, still owned by the Frey family.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (August 2023)
Incredibly deep and complex nose for the 2021 vintage with masses of forest berry, licorice and autumn trumpet mushroom aromas, with an enormous tannin structure that's very refined. The classic power of Hermitage comes through at the extremely long finish. Although the tannins are anything but aggressive, the aromas will need considerable time to fully unfurl. From parcels on the western side of the Hermitage hill with predominantly granite soils, the largest parcel being in Le Meal. From organically grown grapes. Drinkable now, but best from 2026.
Stuart Pigott, Senior Editor, JamesSuckling.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
Domaine de La Chapelle
Domaine de la Chapelle is named after the Chapel of St Christopher bought by the Jaboulet family in 1919. The domaine is run by Caroline Frey, who oversees the rest of the Paul Jaboulet Aîné range. Created to differentiate its wines from those under the Jaboulet name, Domaine de la Chapelle also has its own separate winery.
It is best known for La Chapelle, its flagship red Hermitage blend, and Chevalier de Sterimberg, its white Hermitage blend.
A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.
It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.
South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.