x
  • Country ranking ?

    338
  • Producer ranking ?

    3
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    now to 2040
  • Food Pairing

    Roast squab with cèpes

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 1978

1978/ The total harvest of the Côtes du Rhône wines is 1,858,004 Hl.
In the northernmost part, the grape harvests began on the 5th. October and finished on the 23rd. October.
The Autumn turns cold after several fine days. The winter is cold and snowy. Spring is cold and very wet; growth is slowed down. Helicopter spraying is tried out on the HERMITAGE for the first time, with good results. Flowering begins only on the 15th. June. July, August and September are very good months.
There is good weather for the harvest, and very healthy grapes which give very good wines and, in some cases such as in the north (HERMITAGE, COTE ROTIE) some exceptional red wines, still closed(?), which will keep well. The whites are rare, rounded, and heady.



 

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000
1 405€ +18.1% 1 190€ +8.2% 1 100€ +14.0% 965€ -27.0% 1 322€ +33.5% 990€ +75.8% 563€ +44.7% 389€

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

34 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Deep, Ruby red and Pale

ending

Long, Extensive, Smooth and Metallic

flavors

Leather, Blackberry, Cranberry, Raspberry, Pepper and Vanilla

nose

Seductive, Complex, Ripe and Youthful

taste

Average in Acidity, Warming, Medium tannin, Well-structured, Concentrated, Perfectly balanced, Developing, Full-bodied, Round, Firm, Harmonious, Dry and Drying tannins

Verdict

Intelligent and Fine

Written Notes

1978 had a spectacular nose, singing with that Rhone bacon and menthol, as well as some good ‘barnyard,’ as Jim noted, but it was a barnyard distinct for the Rhone. It has slow and slithering t ‘n a, an anaconda of a nose almost, along with great spice and beef. Wendy picked up on ‘saltine’ and ‘wintergreen.’ It was smooth and tasty, but there was not an ocean of acidity left ‘nor a lot of tannins’ Wendy accurately observed. The thing about ’78 La Chapelle is that every time I seem to have it, even out of magnum in this example, it seems to be approaching full maturity and not this colossal infant that many people perceive it to be. Don’t get me wrong; it was a great bottle of wine but one that I always seem to expect more from La Chapelle.

  • 95p
The Syrah grapes used for this flagship wine of Jaboulet come from two vineyards, Bessards and Méal. In 1978 these vineyards among others in Rhône were facing difficult weather conditions. Yields were reduced due to a cool and wet spring. The flowering turned out to be late and it proceeded very slowly. Then came a warm and dry summer not only helping the harvest to survive but to become perfect. A small crop with excellent quality reaching the level of the superb vintage 1961. Fine looking bottle. Decanted for two hours. Very dark, almost black in colour. Open and exotic bouquet of mineral, pepper, plum, blackberries and leather notes. In the mouth, this 1978 has an overwhelming concentration, exceptional balance and depth, and a superbly long, monumental finish that lasts for more than two minutes. This is the finest La Chapelle made since the legendary 1961.
  • 98p
Hermitage La Chapelle 1978 / "Youthful colour. Deep bouquet of cedar, cassis, hrbs. On the palate a nice melange of eukalyptus, candied fruits, silky tannins. This bottle was extremely young and almost forbidding until it opened up."
  • 97p

Information

Origin

Hermitage, Rhône

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

None

Glass Time

3h

Drinking Temperature

16

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

Deep, mature and dense on the rim. Deeply intoxicating, warm arabica coffee nose. Chocolate, cocoa and total allure. Cinnamon. On the palate it is so elegant and delicious with such style and class. This has now matured to so much finesse – the tannins have been tamed and the fruit has maintained all its persistence. Finishes half-lacy and half-pure power. The balance ensures longevity, if you can resists it now. Violets at the end.'
SERENA SUTCLIFFE, MW 09/2000

'Opaque plum/garnet-colored, with a fabulously sweet, youthful bouquet of licorice, incense, smoked meats, pepper, and blackberry/cassis fruit, the full-bodied 1978 La Chapelle is extremely young with astonishing vigor, velvety tannin, and a full-bodied, multi-dimensional, layered personality. The finish lasts for over 60 seconds. Remarkably fresh and not yet fully mature, the super-concentrated 1978 should continue to age well for another three decades. Anticipated maturity: now-2030.' (100)
ROBERT PARKER’S – WINE ADVOCATE 06/2000

'Full colour. Now looking as if, at long least, the wine has finally reached maturity. Very composed, extremely vigorous, very lovely concentrated, subtle flavours. Real depth and dimension here. Yes, finally ready. Now à point on the palate. Fullish. The tannins now well absorbed. Indeed no hard edges. The wine is very complex., marvellously harmonious and very, very long on the palate. Sweet finish. Sublime! A splendid wine. A great Hermitage.'
THE VINE CLIVE COATES, MW 12/1999

'From a famous vintage for Hermitage, greatness in a glass of wine. A deeply colored, thick yet elegant blockbuster, this 21-years-old red has reached that seamless level of balance – ripe fruit, clean acidity, smooth tannins. So sit back for a vinous ride through exciting mineral, plum, blackberry, cassis, horse stable and roasted nut loops. Drink now through 2020.' (99)
WINE SPECTATOR 12/1999

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Wine Moments

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

95p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1978  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

1978 had a spectacular nose, singing with that Rhone bacon and menthol, as well as some good ‘barnyard,’ as Jim noted, but it was a barnyard distinct for the Rhone. It has slow and slithering t ‘n a, an anaconda of a nose almost, along with great spice and beef. Wendy picked up on ‘saltine’ and ‘wintergreen.’ It was smooth and tasty, but there was not an ocean of acidity left ‘nor a lot of tannins’ Wendy accurately observed. The thing about ’78 La Chapelle is that every time I seem to have it, even out of magnum in this example, it seems to be approaching full maturity and not this colossal infant that many people perceive it to be. Don’t get me wrong; it was a great bottle of wine but one that I always seem to expect more from La Chapelle.

13d 17h ago

95p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1978  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

This had a spectacular nose, singing with that Rhone bacon and menthol, as well as some good ‘barnyard,’ as Jim noted, but it was a barnyard distinct for the Rhone. It has slow and slithering t ‘n a, an anaconda of a nose almost, along with great spice and beef. Wendy picked up on ‘saltine’ and ‘wintergreen.’ It was smooth and tasty, but there was not an ocean of acidity left ‘nor a lot of tannins’ Wendy accurately observed. The thing about ’78 La Chapelle is that every time I seem to have it, even out of magnum in this example, it seems to be approaching full maturity and not this colossal infant that many people perceive it to be. Don’t get me wrong; it was a great bottle of wine but one that I always seem to expect more from 

3m 3d ago

97p
 Georg Linde, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1978  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"Hermitage La Chapelle 1978 / "Youthful colour. Deep bouquet of cedar, cassis, hrbs. On the palate a nice melange of eukalyptus, candied fruits, silky tannins. This bottle was extremely young and almost forbidding until it opened up.""

1y 3m ago

98p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1978  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"The Syrah grapes used for this flagship wine of Jaboulet come from two vineyards, Bessards and Méal. In 1978 these vineyards among others in Rhône were facing difficult weather conditions. Yields were reduced due to a cool and wet spring. The flowering turned out to be late and it proceeded very slowly. Then came a warm and dry summer not only helping the harvest to survive but to become perfect. A small crop with excellent quality reaching the level of the superb vintage 1961.

Fine looking bottle. Decanted for two hours. Very dark, almost black in colour. Open and exotic bouquet of mineral, pepper, plum, blackberries and leather notes. In the mouth, this 1978 has an overwhelming concentration, exceptional balance and depth, and a superbly long, monumental finish that lasts for more than two minutes. This is the finest La Chapelle made since the legendary 1961.
"

1y 9m ago

98p
 Stuart George, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1978  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"Brick red, with some purple still showing. Very complex nose of cherries, spices, incense and honeysuckle. This is not as concentrated as the 1990 – nothing could be! – but the structure and texture is wonderfully silky and refined. The length is again astonishing. Another legend that doesn’t disappoint. "

2y 2m ago

98p
 Ray Thomsen, Wine Writer (Switzerland)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1978  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"This WINE is of a different time and a wine that the paper says more than 30 years, but the look and appearance could be a maximum of 10 years. The grilled steak sense appears directly to you. The ethereal and aggressive lilies, cress, medicine cabinet and the liquorices flavor. It is velvety, polished, fresh and smooth, but hyper-intense and leaves one smacked of an embarrassing floating way! "

2y 6m ago

95p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1978  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"A magnum of 1978 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle was the right idea, but unfortunately slightly corked. It was rich and solid overall, but masked. Meat, asphalt and acid stood out (95A-M)."

3y 7m ago

92p
 Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1978  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"Wine with layers that had not even opened yet!
"

4y 3m ago

96p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1978  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"bottle that came directly from the Domaine. It had a great, classic nose, with deep and dark black fruits, anise, plum, chocolate, minerals, pepper and rust. It was dank and brooding in the nose, a terminator of sorts. The palate was huge with loads of t'n a, still very youthful and almost infantile, shy in its fruit expression but definitely having the "zing thing," according to Frank. The acidity was like an avalanche on the finish, which had a figgy edge as well. The palate was shy at first with more anise, mineral and slate, but indubitably enormous, and a pinch of flesh crept in over time as the wine gained weight in the glass. This wine was amazingly young, and its youth came across as a bit of emptiness in the beginning, but little by little the wine started to come out of its shell, but it probably needed another four to six hours for us truly to get to know it better. Earth and forest nuances developed and by the end of the evening, we all clearly saw that this was just the beginning for the 1978 La Chapelle "

4y 7m ago

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