Paul Jaboulet Aine is one of Rhone’s most famous producers with vineyards in both Northern and Southern Rhone. For nearly 200 years, the Jaboulet family worked the lands and through this collective effort, the Jaboulet name came to represent the best from Rhone. Following the domaine’s acquisition in 2006 by the Frey family, themselves long time champagne makers at Billecart-Salmon and owners of Bordeaux Third Growth Chateau La Lagune, Paul Jaboulet Aine has grown from strength to strength.
Under current oenologist Caroline Frey’s care, the domaine has worked on increasing the quality of its wines while ensuring they remain true to the terroir. Sustainable agriculture is an area the domaine is focusing on, both to protect the environment and the health of its vines.
The Paul Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle remains the star for the domaine, as it has always been in years past, with a steep price to match. Current vintages are retailing at close to S$300 a bottle, while older vintages are close to S$400.
As an ex-accountant, I am always on the lookout for good value buys that tantalize the taste buds without burning a hole in my pocket. That’s savvy shopping in my opinion. The positive thing about Paul Jaboulet Aine is that there is a universal Jaboulet character across its wines; they are all well-crafted and reflect very authentically the appellations from where they come from. You therefore don’t necessarily need to drink the top wine to experience Jaboulet’s appeal.
The Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert is a wine I often go back to. The grapes from the Thalabert estate come from 40 to 60 year old vines and are carefully sorted then meticulously vinified using traditional methods. I find the 2011's bouquet to be intense, complex and aromatic with a blend of red berries and animal notes. On the palate, it has wonderful red and black fruits which are supported by fine tannins and has a really well-balanced finish.
More review from Robert Parker (91 points): “The 2011 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert is an outstanding blend of 100% Syrah that spent 12 months in new French oak. Medium-bodied, rich, textured and downright sexy on the palate, it offers up impressive aromas and flavors of blackberry, raspberry, bouquet garni and spice. Approachable and already delicious, it should continue to drink nicely for another decade.”
The Thalabert is a very good entry point for people tasting Paul Jaboulet wines from Northern Rhone for the first time. If you like what you are drinking, you can always move up the scale towards La Chapelle when your year end bonus arrives.
The 2011 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert is retailing in Singapore at around S$80. We are making it wallet friendly by offering it here at the following prices:
1 bottle: S$67 (saves S$12, 15% discount)
6 bottles: S$355 (saves S$119, 25% discount)
We only have 120 bottles direct from France so hurry if you want to procure some bottles. Happy drinking!