Source: The Wine Advocate; Issue Date: 13th May 2021 (RP: 93-96)
The full-bodied, impressively inky 2019 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert features blackberries and cassis, mulberries and blueberries, yet notes of violets, black olives and espresso keep it from being a one-dimensional fruit bomb. Rich, concentrated and dense, it’s almost Port-like on the palate. I could see some people thinking it could be too much of a good thing, but maybe this wine just needs more ?levage and additional time in the cellar compared to other recent vintages. It is a bit chunky and unformed at this point, but it finishes rich and dusty, with hints of mocha and no real signs of its 15% alcohol.
A staple for any true Rhone lover’s collection, Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage is the oldest and largest vineyard within the appellation. An even better rendition than the brilliant 2018, 2019 scored 94 points from Jeb Dunnuck. With an affordable price point and unrivalled place amongst the world’s most historic wineries, it is hard to find another wine that can rival this prestige, quality and value.
Brand Description: Paul Jaboulet Aine, crown jewel of the Rhone Valley and one of the most highly anticipated releases of the Rhone En Primeur campaign is finally here with another sensational vintage. Since taking over the estate as an oenologist in 2006, Caroline Frey’s meticulous care and attention to quality in the vineyard, aided by a steady shift to organics and biodynamics, has led the once-struggling estate to a tremendous return to form in recent years, spearheading a renaissance that has seen the return of world class winemaking and critical acclaim to one of the great estates of the Rhone Valley. The Frey family’s revival of the estate has culminated in two consecutive stellar vintages, 2018 and now 2019, a testament to its prowess and reputation.
Vintage: Based on early reviews, the 2019 vintage is set to put its recent predecessors, even the formidable 2018 vintage, in the shade. Matthew Jukes has found the flagship Hermitage La Chapelle 2019 to be quite literally off the scale at 20 points out of 20, comparing it to the sensational 1990, one of the greatest vintages of all time. With great ageing potential and quality that potentially trumps the phenomenal 2018 vintage, Paul Jaboulet Aine 2019 promises to be a stunning addition to the cellars of fine wine lovers and collectors. 2019 is a paradoxical year of extremes with an abnormally hot and dry growing season by historical standards that started off with pockets of spring hail and frost. Fortunately, temperatures were not excessive and well-timed and beneficial rains in late August and early September freshened the vineyards and kept the acidity levels sound. Despite the hot and rain-bereft year, 2019 produced wines with real freshness and detail, and many producers achieved a perfect ripeness that adds aromatic complexity to the wines.