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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.
The year 2006 was almost perfect for the production of a great vintage in the Rhone Valley. With a cold, dry winter that perfectly allowed the vines to rest and a mild, fairly rainy spring, all the conditions were certainly in place for the buds to open and for the young branches to grow rapidly.
During the summer, dry spells alternated with milder periods and with cool nights in August. These conditions allowed the grapes to mature to perfection, with silky tannins, good structure and balance and berries that were perfectly sound. The weather during the late summer allowed us to harvest each plot as the grapes reached their full maturity.
On 14th September, we began to pick the white grapes, starting with the Saint-Péray and then the Crozes Hermitage. During the second fortnight of September, which was still very sunny and windy, we moved on to the Hermitage white grapes, which were of exceptional quality. In view of this fact, a batch of the best grapes was selected in order to make the legendary Hermitage “La Chapelle” white wine, which will capture the imagination with its floral yet fruity aromatic richness, its surprising concentration and its exceptionally long finish.
In late September the red Hermitage grapes were perfect for making an Hermitage “La Chapelle” that is simultaneously complex, well-rounded and elegant. The La Chapelle 2006 red is a very dark garnet in colour, has powerful aromas of small fruits with highly complex notes of spices and leather, and very powerful silky tannins. It is a wine that will keep for the next fifty years! The next to be harvested were the Crozes red grapes of Thalabert and Roure, which were in a perfectly sound condition. These intensely-coloured wines offer aromas of red fruits, with supple and delicate tannins.
From 25 September onward, the Côte Rôtie and Condrieu grapes were picked.
Lastly, on 6th October, we completed the grape harvest with the Grandes Terrasses and Saint Pierre Cornas plots. These grapes that grow on high ground on the right bank at an altitude of between 250 and 350 metres need a little longer to be able to produce rich, mature grapes.
Once vinified, all the red wines from our estates are casked from the month of December so as to mature in our 12th century cellar, the Vineum, which takes between 12 and 16 months.