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.”
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.
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.
Very old Syrah vines; goblet pruning on stakes.
Age of the vines:
40 to 60 years.
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.
La Chapelle is aged in wood in our ancient “VINEUM” cellar for 15 to 18 months. During this process the wines are also racked.
Low yields of 10 to 18 hl/ha.
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
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|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€|