Grape Variety: 100% Syrah
Growing Region: Hermitage, Rhône Valley, France
Owner / Head Winemaker: Caroline Frey

Just 2 days ago I had the pleasure to stand on top of the Hermitage, next to La Chapelle over looking the small town of Tain and the vines from which this wine is sourced.
This 2010 'La Chapelle' is arguably one of the world’s most masterful of blends from this unique and dramatic of terroirs, clinging to the steep slopes above the Rhône. The richness of these diverse parcels craft a wine of incredible complexity and longevity.

 

Each carefully hand-picked parcel is vinified separately, right until the final blending, which takes place once a year with both anticipation and trusted responsibility.
The name of 'Hermitage La Chapelle' is linked to the tiny chapel of Saint-Christophe, situated nearly at the top of the hill, overlooking the terraced vineyards along the Rhône. Maison Paul Jaboulet Aîné rescued the crumbling chapel in 1919. The diversity of ‘terroirs’ on these sites (les Bessards, les Greffieux, le Méal and les Rocoules) gives their wine a specific individual identity and richness.
The 2010 summer saw temperatures slightly raised above normal, with an almost scorching period in July. Then during harvest in September, they had favourable conditions resulting in parcels of fruit having a rich nature, freshness and beautiful balance.
Vine age plays an important role in the finished wine, with a varied age between 40 and 60 years. When each site was deemed ready to pick, each parcel was brought down the slopes of the Hermitage on small sledges, after which they are sorted by hand and then promptly taken to the winery for vinification. La Chapelle is aged in French oak barrels in their cellars for 15 to 18 months, and during this process the wines are racked as required. The final blending is done at the end of this ageing period - through judicious selection from the different terroirs.
In the glass you will be greeted by an intense, deep red colour with a purple glow. In its youthful stage of development this wine is already showing a confident bouquet, intensely perfumed aromas of sweet blueberries, dark cherry and fresh violets, with notes of wild spice and dried herbs. These qualities and characters carry through onto the palate along with flavours of cassis, wild cherry and silky, well integrated tannins and oak, giving the wine its complexity and vibrant nuances that linger on a most pleasing and persistent finish. If opened in the next few years, decant for 45-60 minutes and serve in an appropriate glass at 16-18°C.

An iconic red wine that has reclaimed its rightful place.

CELLARING POTENTIAL:
With decanting approachable; but will appreciate 7-10 years and repay another 15-20+ years.

SUGGESTED FOOD MATCHES:
Perfect wine pairing with prime, aged red meats, wild game, slow roasted dishes and seasonal earthy vegetables, enjoy.