x
  • Country ranking ?

    553
  • Producer ranking ?

    6
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    now to 2050
  • Food Pairing

    Pork Roast with Sausage & Fruit and Nut Stuffing

100 points/ This is a vintage that produced four potentially perfect Hermitages. Chapoutier’s micro-cuvée called Le Pavillon, and both of Gérard Chave’s Hermitage cuvées (the regular bottling and the limited production Cuvée Cathelin), as well as Jaboulet’s La Chapelle, all flirt with perfection. Undoubtedly, the 1990 La Chapelle is the sexiest and most opulent of these wines. I had the 1990 at the Jaboulet tasting, and again out of a double magnum three months ago. On both occasions it was spectacular, clearly meriting a three-digit score. The modern day equivalent of the 1961, it deserves all the attention it has garnered. The color remains an opaque purple, with only a slight pink at the edge. Spectacular aromatics offer up aromas of incense, smoke, blackberry fruit, cassis, barbecue spice, coffee, and a touch of chocolate. As it sits in the glass, additional nuances of pepper and grilled steak emerge. There is extraordinary freshness for such a mammoth wine in addition to abundant tannin, an amazing 60-second finish, and a level of glycerin and thick, fleshy texture that have to be tasted to be believed. Despite its youthfulness, the 1990 La Chapelle is lovely to drink, although it will be even better with another 5-6 years of cellaring; it should age for 35-40+ years. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2050.
Looking at my original notes, I observed that the late Gérard Jaboulet told me that for this particular vintage they increased the percentage of new oak to 50% (versus the 20-25% normally used), and that the maceration period was an amazing 44 days.'
ROBERT PARKER’S 

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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 1990

1990/ The summer drought continues until the 19th November. The first rains follow and bring the dried up rivers back to life. Cold weather and the first frosts from the 25th November to the 10th December, when the southerly wind brings a mild period with temperatures unusually high for the season.
A few violets are to be seen at the end of the year!


The cold returns on the 1st January and lasts throughout the month. A mild, rainy period sets in at the beginning of February with the appearance of the first almond blossom. This weather continues throughout the end of the winter, triggering the flowering of the apricot and peach trees on the 26th and 27th of February.
The spring is cool and wet, with rains that help growth. Flowering of the vines is almost over on the 30th May. The summer is very dry with a heat wave. At the end of July, the evening temperature reaches 38°C.
Light rains (3 to 20 mm.) fall just before the harvest, which starts on the 19th September, in ideal weather, and finish on the 1st October. The maturation of the grapes and their harvest take place under ideal conditions.
The wines will be of exceptional quality, especially the Hermitage “La Chapelle” which will come close to the famous 1961.



 

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005
504€ +0.6% 501€ -5.3% 529€ +7.1% 494€ -3.3% 511€ +14.8% 445€ +54.5% 288€

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

27 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Deep, Ruby red and Healthy

ending

Long, Extensive and Flavorful

flavors

Blueberry, Smoky, Blackberry, Licorice, Pepper and Tar

nose

Refined, Complex, Charming and Intense

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Warming, Medium tannin, Concentrated, Balanced, Perfectly balanced, Youthful, Full-bodied, Elegant, Refined, Round, Dry and Silky tannins

Verdict

Outstanding and Full-bodied

Written Notes

We had a couple more Ganbeis revisiting some of the Bordeaux, then a couple of Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelles. The 1989 was a dirty birdie (92) and the 1990 was jammy, chewy, friendly and zippy, one of the better bottles of this that I have had recently (94).
  • 94p
La Chapelle 1990/ Decanted 1,5 hours before dinner. Full, complex, open nose with bright, herbacious fruit and some animal character. Dense and peppery on the palate. This is full-bodied, herbacious and complex with spice and leather notes. Well balanced with firm tannins and complex spicy ending. This is drinking quite well now, but obviously has some years to go. Mouth-wateringly delicious.
  • 95p
Very rich and concentrated. Not as bombastic as the ’61 but with freshness and structure for a long life. A bit closed at the moment. Needs a couple of hours in the decanter.
  • 95p

Information

Origin

Hermitage, Rhône

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Good

Glass time

3h

Drinking temperature

16

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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 black crimson. Again, massive “legs” (I hardly ever see or write this). Wonderful fragrant, vivit healthy nose, slightly dormant at the moment. Extreme finesse of bouquet with a rosy bloom. One senses the enormous class. Dancing fruit on the palate. Not as massive as some, and I don’t think quite the ’61 character. More fruit and elegance. Sheer scent and perfume pervades it. Very blackberry finish. Finesse of tannins. Silky texture.'
SERENA SUTCLIFFE, MW 09/2000

'This is a vintage that produced four potentially perfect Hermitages. Chapoutier’s micro-cuvée called Le Pavillon, and both of Gérard Chave’s Hermitage cuvées (the regular bottling and the limited production Cuvée Cathelin), as well as Jaboulet’s La Chapelle, all flirt with perfection. Undoubtedly, the 1990 La Chapelle is the sexiest and most opulent of these wines. I had the 1990 at the Jaboulet tasting, and again out of a double magnum three months ago. On both occasions it was spectacular, clearly meriting a three-digit score. The modern day equivalent of the 1961, it deserves all the attention it has garnered. The color remains an opaque purple, with only a slight pink at the edge. Spectacular aromatics offer up aromas of incense, smoke, blackberry fruit, cassis, barbecue spice, coffee, and a touch of chocolate. As it sits in the glass, additional nuances of pepper and grilled steak emerge. There is extraordinary freshness for such a mammoth wine in addition to abundant tannin, an amazing 60-second finish, and a level of glycerin and thick, fleshy texture that have to be tasted to be believed. Despite its youthfulness, the 1990 La Chapelle is lovely to drink, although it will be even better with another 5-6 years of cellaring; it should age for 35-40+ years. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2050.
Looking at my original notes, I observed that the late Gérard Jaboulet told me that for this particular vintage they increased the percentage of new oak to 50% (versus the 20-25% normally used), and that the maceration period was an amazing 44 days.' (100)
ROBERT PARKER’S – WINE ADVOCATE 06/2000

'Splendid colour. Still back at the rim. Full, rich, concentrated, opulent profound nose. Not too adolescent but it still has a way to go. There is really a huge of wine here. Very full and substantial, yet not a bit too muscular. Rich and abundant. Finely balanced with very good ripe acidity. Full of raspberry and blackcurrant. The finish is already very sweet. A big wine of splendid potential, which will be very silky and complex. Very brilliant! But it needs time.'
THE VINE CLIVE COATES, MW 12/1999

'As expected from this ideal vintage, this '90 is sensational. Inky in color and solidly anchored in its terroir, it springs to life with a symphony of flavors, from mineral to wet earth and blackberry. Marvelous balance among fruit, acidity and smooth tannins. Drink now through 2025.' (97)
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
 Jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1990  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"Very rich and concentrated. Not as bombastic as the ’61 but with freshness and structure for a long life. A bit closed at the moment. Needs a couple of hours in the decanter."

2y 10d ago

94p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1990  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"We had a couple more Ganbeis revisiting some of the Bordeaux, then a couple of Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelles. The 1989 was a dirty birdie (92) and the 1990 was jammy, chewy, friendly and zippy, one of the better bottles of this that I have had recently (94)."

2y 1m ago

98p
 Stuart George, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1990  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"Purple, just turning to brick red at the rim. Quite closed, though raspberries, cream, vanilla oak, tar and much more can be detected. This is very ripe, as per the 1989. Huge concentration on the palate – this simply dwarfs all the wines tasted beforehand. The length is incredible. A truly magnificent La Chapelle that continues to grow in stature. "

2y 4m ago

95p
 Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1990  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"The wine with great potential. This bottle was showed as still closed. The nose was promising but the palate was somehow reserved. So, better keep it for another 10 years!"

4y 5m ago

95p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1990  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"Hermitage La Chapelle 1990/ A majestic wine and excellent vintage, comparable to the quality of 1961. This was extremely dry and hot summer followed by much favoured rain in August. The harvest took place in very good conditions and the results were superb. This wine could be listed as one of the flagships of the vintage.
Very intense, almost inky colour. Pronounced and complex nose is full of ripe dark fruits, black berries, blackcurrants and blueberries. Very intense floral and spicy aromas shows smokiness, bacon, tar, liquorice, and lovely hints of violets. The palate is very intense and fleshy with supple but firm tannins and vivid acidity. The ripe intense fruitiness shares flavours of blueberries and blackberries. Lovely spiciness and tar flavours take hold on mid palate while bacon, liquorice and pepper notes will escort the long lingering finish. A big but astonishingly elegant wine that shares lovely drinkability now but will keep wonderfully for decades still!
"

4y 9m ago

95p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1990  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"La Chapelle 1990/ Decanted 1,5 hours before dinner. Full, complex, open nose with bright, herbacious fruit and some animal character. Dense and peppery on the palate. This is full-bodied, herbacious and complex with spice and leather notes. Well balanced with firm tannins and complex spicy ending.
This is drinking quite well now, but obviously has some years to go. Mouth-wateringly delicious.
"

4y 9m ago

94p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Hermitage La Chapelle 1990  ( Paul Jaboulet & Âiné )

"SuperSomm noted ‘a hint of chicken shit’ in 1990 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle. It had a buttery nose with percolating hints of acid, but its palate seemed really evolved and jammy. It was smooth and satiny, but I wanted and expected more from this wine (94)."

4y 10m ago

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