x
  • Country ranking ?

    3
  • Producer ranking ?

    1
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now to 2040
  • Food Pairing

    Enjoy without food

Hermitage La Chapelle 1961 steals Sotheby’s London show / The trio made £25,850 and went to an Asian buyer, as did the second-best performing lot, comprised of five bottles of Henri Jayer’s 1993 Vosne Romanee Cros Parantoux, which sold for £21,150.

Other top performing lots included six bottles of Jaboulet’s 1978 monopole, which sold for £10,810, and 10 bottles of 1961 Latour, selling for £10,575 – both snapped up by US buyers.

The sale made an overall £615,548. Sotheby’s European head of wine Stephen Mould said: “The Bernheimer Collection drew global interest and achieved a total of £238,278, exceeding the high estimate. Buyers competed for rarities including a bottle of Château Mouton Rothschild 1945, which sold for £5,875 and five bottles of the impossible-to-find Dom Pérignon 1955, which fetched £3,750.

“The range of Hermitage La Chapelle attracted wine lovers from across all continents. Three bottles of the gigantic 1961 vintage brought the top price of the day, while six bottles of the 1964 vintage soared over estimate to sell for £6,815. The 2006, 2007 and 2010 vintages of Duo, an exciting blend of La Chapelle and La Lagune released in very limited quantities, were highly sought-after by collectors.

“Elsewhere, there was strong interest in young classed growth Bordeaux, DRC and Domaine Leflaive. These results bode well for our forthcoming London sales: A Century of Classic Wine on 2 December and The Exceptional Cellar of Connoisseur on 16 and 17 December.”

 

 

 

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The Story

In the heart of the Rhône Valley, this small chapel has become one of the world’s great historic buildings
La Chapelle, the jewel of Maison Jaboulet, has a rich and emotive history. 
During the 13th century, a knight called Gaspard de Sterimberg settled in the hills of Tain l’Hermitage with the permission of Blanche de Castille. On his return from the crusades, he sought calm and serenity and isolated himself as a hermit, hence the name of the Hermitage appellation. There he built a Chapel, overlooking the Rhône Valley. 

La Chapelle endured the passage of time and finally became the property of Maison Paul Jaboulet Aîné in 1919. 
Hermitage “La Chapelle” is a blend of terroirs, including the prestigious hillsides of Méal and Bessards. Each one provides its own aromatic characteristics, as well as an elegant tannin structure, giving the wine great ageing potential.

Since the legendary 1961 vintage, which was classed as one of the Twelve mythical wines of the 20th century, Hermitage “la Chapelle” has become one of the world’s most sought-after wines. 
Its fame has led Maison Paul Jaboulet Aîné to revive a historical tradition by producing a few bottles of 2006 “la Chapelle” white wine. 

The diversity of “terroirs” on these lands gives our wine an identity of its own, thanks to the blending of grapes from different plots.

Soil:
The Syrah vines are planted in rich and varied soils with very diverse terroirs (les Bessards, les Greffieux, le Méal and les Rocoules).
It is the richness of these different terroirs that provides our Hermitage La Chapelle with its complexity.
Grape Variety:
Very old Syrah vines; goblet pruning on stakes.
Age of the vines: 
40 to 60 years.
Vinification: 
Grapes are brought down from the slopes of l’Hermitage on small sledges, after which they are sorted by hand and vinified traditionally in our wineries 
Final blending is carried out during the ageing process and is done through judicious selection from the different terroirs of l’Hermitage.  
Ageing: 
La Chapelle is aged in wood in our ancient “VINEUM” cellar for 15 to 18 months. During this process the wines are also racked.
Yield: 
Low yields of 10 to 18 hl/ha.

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Vintage 1961

In 1961, the weather conditions in the Rhône valley varied a lot – a mild winter, chilly and rainy weather in June and July reduced the crop size, drought in August and a beautiful sunny September brought the rest of the grapes to full maturity. Jaboulet´s vineyards Bessard and Le Meal only yielded one-fourth of their normal crop size – around one ton per acre, but what intense and concentrated grapes were born. The total harvest of the Cote du Rhone wines was 535039 HL.
The harvest began on the 13th of September and finished on the 23rd of September.

Bottle was in good condition, ullage was 2 cm. Very dark and young looking colour. Sound and wide-open, leather, truffle nose. Decanted 3 hours before serving. Very rich in flavour, and what an astonishing complexity and weight it possesses. Perfect harmony and balance now, but still quite a masculine and vigorous wine – will probably last eternally. Impressive length. I was so fortunate to taste this remarkable wine again – all bottles have been real treasures. PN



 

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2014 2013 2011 2010 2005 2000
9 967€ +9.5% 9 100€ -9.6% 10 065€ -4.6% 10 552€ +18.0% 8 944€ +87.2% 4 778€ +188.7% 1 655€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

26 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Deep and Ruby red

ending

Endless and Extensive

flavors

Leather, Truffles, Blackberry, Coffee and Smoky

nose

Open, Complex, Fresh and Seductive

recommend

Yes

taste

High in Acidity, Warming, High tannin, Complex, Perfectly balanced, Balanced, Developing, Full-bodied, Harmonious, Rich, Focused, Dry and Silky tannins

Verdict

Masterpiece and Well made

Written Notes

I thought the 1961 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle was the wine of the flight, but the Punisher had other thoughts.  I had to race through this flight actually to catch a flight, so I had to dip and dash, so to speak.  I did enough dipping to notice earth, game, bacon and the most weight in the flight.  This was thick and earthy wine, and while not the best bottle I ever remember, pretty damn good (97).

  • 97p
Ytterligare en som jag kom att spåra blint trots att jag aldrig smakat bara läst spaltmeter om den. Jag förstår dem så håller detta som det mest monumentala som gjorts 61: I min värld är detta dock ett exempel på när de bästa europeiska vinerna kantrar över och blir så rika att de snuddar vid nya världen. Här finns ingen som helst elegans. Dock en underbar rikedom av svarta bär, lakrits, choklad, mynta och hostmedicin. Grangelik, men så väsensskild från Hermitage från Chave. Ett häftigt monster i alla händelser.
  • 95p
In 1961, the weather conditions in the Rhône valley varied a lot – a mild winter, chilly and rainy weather in June and July reduced the crop size, drought in August and a beautiful sunny September brought the rest of the grapes to full maturity. Jaboulet´s vineyards Bessard and Le Meal only yielded one-fourth of their normal crop size – around one ton per acre, but what intense and concentrated grapes were born. Bottle was in good condition, ullage was 2 cm. Very dark and young looking colour. Sound and wide-open, leather, truffle nose. Decanted 3 hours before serving. Very rich in flavour, and what an astonishing complexity and weight it possesses. Perfect harmony and balance now, but still quite a masculine and vigorous wine – will probably last eternally. Impressive length. I was so fortunate to taste this remarkable wine again – both bottles have been real treasures.
  • 100p

Information

Origin

Hermitage, Rhône

Soil

rich and varied soils with very diverse terroirs

Age of vines

60 years

Vintage Quality

Extraordinary

Value For Money

Best buy

Investment potential

Outstanding

Fake factory

Serious

Glass time

2h

Drinking temperature

18

Other wines from this producer

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Cèdres Rouge

Côte du Rhône Parallèle 45 Blanc

Côte du Rhône Parallèle 45 Rouge

Côte-Rôtie

Côte-Rôtie Les Jumelles

Côtes du Rhône Parallèle 45

Crozes-Hermitage Blanc " Domaine Mule Blanche

Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert

Crozes-Hermitage Les Jalets Blanc

Crozes-Hermitage Les Jalets Rouge

Hermitage La Chapelle Blanc

Hermitage Le Chevalier de Sterimberg

Saint-Joseph Domaine de la Croix des Vignes

Inside Information

What is the most memorable bottle of wine you've had?
'I've had so many momorable bottles of wine that it would be difficult to name a single bottle. I can, however, share one of the highs. It's a bottle of Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage 'La Chapelle' 1961, which I had in 1993 at Comme Chez Soi, a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Brussels. The wine was rich and well-balanced, with finesse and compexity. It is one of the greatest wines in the world.'
NK YONG - THE SUNDAY TIMES - 26/12/2007

The colour is barely touched by age. A great bouquet of smoky violets and smoked reindeer meat. The extraordinary richness on the palate is astonishing. Sheer, rich coffee. Unparalleled glycerol. Rich leather? Black winegums and liquorice. A masterpiece of gigantic proportions.'
SERENA SUTCLIFFE, MW 09/2000


'Very fine full, vigorous mature colour. Deep right to the rim. Very lovely nose indeed. Intense and classy and rich and mellow. Marvellous complexity and depth. Very clean. Very persistent. On the palate the wine is full but very full-flavoured. Opulent. Remarkable grip. Rich. Fine acidity. Very intense. Very lovely. This has splendid class, splendid complexity and such a concentration of fruit that is very sweet on the palate. A great wine without a doubt. Still very very vigorous. Yet ripe and silky smooth. Very fine long finish. Magnificent.'
THE VINE CLIVE COATES, MW 12/1999

'Always 100 points, still 100 points. From a vintage with a minuscule crop and great summer weather through the end of the harvest. Dark at the core, it lightens at the edge to the color of prune juice. Full-bodied, it lays thick on the palate, with loads of ripe berry, plum, mineral and game character. Intense and harmonious. Should hold for years; drink through 2025.' (100)
WINE SPECTATOR 12/1999

'This is unquestionably one of the greatest wines made in the twentieth century. In the two dozen tastings where I have had the 1961 La Chapelle, I rated it 100 points twenty times. It could be mistaken for the 1961 Latour or 1961 Latour à Pomerol in a blind tasting. The opaque purple/garnet color is accompanied by spectacular aromatics representing the essence of old wine Syrah (smoked meat, pepper, hoisin sauce, and soy). As the wine sits in the glass, notions of pepper, new saddle leather, grilled meat, and awesome levels of blackberry, plum, and blak currant liqueur-like notes emerge. Extremely unctuous, with compelling concentration and purity, this full-bodied, seamless, mouthfilling 1961 is truly immortal. It still possesses a freshness and vigor that defy its nearly forty years of age. It should continue to drink well for two more decades. Prodigious stuff!' (100)
ROBERT PARKER’S – WINE ADVOCATE 06/2000

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

97p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1961  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

I thought the 1961 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle was the wine of the flight, but the Punisher had other thoughts.  I had to race through this flight actually to catch a flight, so I had to dip and dash, so to speak.  I did enough dipping to notice earth, game, bacon and the most weight in the flight.  This was thick and earthy wine, and while not the best bottle I ever remember, pretty damn good (97).

1m 11d ago

100p
 Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1961  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

Like returning to Lourdes hoping for another miracle and then being transfixed as it takes place! A scented, sainted marvel of wine making, a riot of blackberry, Syrah "syrup", the telltale soy and hoisin, flirtatiously expressive, sheer elegance and a medley of spices. On the palate opening, it is gorgeously complex, with astonishing breadth and intensity, violets, graphite, espresso, a hint of olives, and earthiness. And then, with the food in particular, you have a fragrant mellifluous softness, before the band strikes up again past the mid palate. It has enthralling balance. Amidst the plums and black currant liqueur-like notes almost, it recalls nothing else but a convocation of hedonistic bliss blended with seamless grace. This is so vigorous and ebullient on the palate massaging, slightly game-tinged finale that it leaves you simply beaming at life. There is no parallel here, other than possibly to take the spice-flecked seduction of the '78 and the polished intensity of the '90 and try to recreate "magic." This was, once more, prodigious. Compared to the Fall bottle, a wee bit less effulgent in aromatics, every bit as exquisite otherwise. 100 Points+ (the "+" for alternate life form factor)

9m 5d ago

100p
 Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1961  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"Well, what can you say in the presence of a perfect bottle of one of the greatest wines ever made? The little hill in Hermitage with the Chapel in honor of a 13th century knight, had magic occur in 1961. And that magic is undiminished today. The aromatics are precedent-shattering, a perfume confection of spice-cake, garrigue, pepper, grilled meat, hoisin and soy, some peppermint, and over time, some intriguing eucalyptus notes. You could simply “drink” the perfume and be content…almost. It opens with amazing concentration, but restrained richness, almost as if the body of Syrah had met the sumptuous appeal of Pomerol. Plums and black currants, swirling in that delightful cinnamon dabbed spice mixture at the mid palate, it builds to a slightly game-accented finish ablaze with an intoxicating freshness and vigor that seems to transcend time. It has been on this extended peak for almost a decade, and will clearly continue to enthrall for some time. It deserves every bit of its reputation as one of the greatest icons in memory. 100 Points+ (as with Mouton ’45 the “+” is for the alternate life form factor"

2y 1m ago

97p
 Juha Jormanainen, Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1961  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"Very, very dark red color, strong nose with aromas of smoked meat, blackcurrant and burnt rubber. On palate very concentrated and powerful with aromas of dark berries and spices but some how straight forward style. Very long and strong finish, but where is the the finesse, dimensions and elegance? "

2y 7m ago

95p
 Richard Juhlin / The number One champagne expert in the world, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1961  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"Ytterligare en som jag kom att spåra blint trots att jag aldrig smakat bara läst spaltmeter om den. Jag förstår dem så håller detta som det mest monumentala som gjorts 61: I min värld är detta dock ett exempel på när de bästa europeiska vinerna kantrar över och blir så rika att de snuddar vid nya världen. Här finns ingen som helst elegans. Dock en underbar rikedom av svarta bär, lakrits, choklad, mynta och hostmedicin. Grangelik, men så väsensskild från Hermitage från Chave. Ett häftigt monster i alla händelser."

2y 8m ago

100p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1961  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"In 1961, the weather conditions in the Rhône valley varied a lot – a mild winter, chilly and rainy weather in June and July reduced the crop size, drought in August and a beautiful sunny September brought the rest of the grapes to full maturity. Jaboulet´s vineyards Bessard and Le Meal only yielded one-fourth of their normal crop size – around one ton per acre, but what intense and concentrated grapes were born.
Bottle was in good condition, ullage was 2 cm. Very dark and young looking colour. Sound and wide-open, leather, truffle nose. Decanted 3 hours before serving. Very rich in flavour, and what an astonishing complexity and weight it possesses. Perfect harmony and balance now, but still quite a masculine and vigorous wine – will probably last eternally. Impressive length. I was so fortunate to taste this remarkable wine again – both bottles have been real treasures.
"

2y 8m ago

99p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1961  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"Big Mike dropped the hammer with a near-perfect bottle of 1961 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle. This was a sick wine, with a nose more intense than anything prior. This was a city unto itself, so intricate and so complex with so many nooks and crannies. There were great roasted menthol flavors here, and hearty alcohol to match. This was a beautiful monster, as good as it gets (99)."

3y 9m ago

99p
 Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1961  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"D 2 h / G 2 h
Medium intense, bright, brick red colour. Pronounced nose jumps out on the face showing big and intense aromas of ripe brambles, cassis, blueberries and violets with adorable perfumey nuances. Extremely deep nose with great refinement. Medium-bodied palate is just amazing with its intensity, unbelievable freshness, fleshy fruitiness, rich but so delicate and refined tannic structure with vivid and elegant finish. Astonishing silkiness in mouthfeel, very different from the style one could expect from masculine Hermitage and especially from La Chapelle. This wine stands out from other La Chapelles as Sassicaia 1985 from the rest of the Sassiacaias. Truly a masterpiece and rarity that can be stored for extra 10-15 years, but why? There is just no excuse why this wine should be cellared any longer. Pure enjoyment right now!
"

4y 8m ago

99p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1961  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"There aren’t many wines that can follow a ’45 Mouton in fine fashion, but that’s exactly what the 1961 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle did. Wow, I had finally had this great wine again. The nose on this thoroughbred had coffee and royal garden intermingled with Indian spice and sumptuous dark chocolate. The palate was rich and thick with loads and layers of roasted black and purple fruit flavors. Unique oil and citrus qualities tickled on its long, lingering finish. It took the concentration up a notch. Yummmmm."

4y 8m ago

100p
 Jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1961  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"Gorgeour 1959 La Mission Haut-Brion. First, I would like to correct a common misconception: Château La Mission Haut-Brion is not now, nor has it ever been, the number two wine from Château Haut-Brion; in fact, the two estates were never even under the same ownership until the Dillons acquired it in 1983.The 1959 is not far behind the 1961 in quality. It has provided enjoyment for a long time and will continue to do so for a good many years."

4y 10m ago

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