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.
1945 was an also exceptional year throughout the whole France, from Côte-Rôtie to Rhône. Due to the warm and dry conditions, the grapes were very concentrated and produced an extraordinary, but unfortunately small yield. The harvest in 1945 was an early harvest, which started on the same date as 1982, September 13. The wines began life with massive levels of tannin and took quite a few decades to develop. Due to the high tannin levels, many of the wines still show well today.
When seen from the perspective of Bordeaux winemakers, the 1940s can be considered a bittersweet decade. Even though Nazi-occupied Bordeaux was mostly spared the havoc wrought by the war, life under occupation was uncertain, mingled with fear and oppressive. Where the horrors of war left bitter memories, nature gave Bordeaux perhaps its finest decade ever. At least when considering legendary wines. This was the decade that produced two of the most highly renowned wines: the Mouton-Rothschild 1945 and Cheval Blanc 1947. In addition to this, the Mouiex family put the Pomerol region on the map in 1945, when it was granted exclusive rights to sell Pétrus.