Occupying one hundred hectares in the northern Côtes du Rhône, Maison Paul Jaboulet Aîné have been producing wines since 1834.
Predominately Syrah, the La Chapelle vineyard, which is situated on the hillside of l’Hermitage, is the family’s flagship wine, l’Hermitage La Chapelle.
Yields are restricted to between 25 and 35 hectolitres per hectare from vines that are on average 40 years old, with the most illustrious being nearly 80 years old. Canopy management, crop thinning, pruning and harvesting are all carried out by hand.
Caroline Frey and Denis Dubourdieu, ensure that exceptional wines are produced. Combining traditional and modern methods, grapes are sorted by hand, de-stemmed and crushed. Pre-fermentation maceration takes place in vat. The wines are then blended and matured in 225-litre casks for between 12 and 24 months, depending on the vintage.
The Frey family, acquired Maison Paul Jaboulet Aîné in January 2006.
Crozes-Hermitage is the Northern Rhône's biggest appellation covering the rolling hills surrounding Hermitage. Most of the wine is red and made exclusively from Syrah though some very good value whites can be found from the Marsanne and Roussanne grape varieties. Curiously there are only a small band of high quality producers taking advantage of this appellation, among the best would be Graillot, Pochon, Domaine du Colombier and Belle. Jaboulet and the co-operative Cave de Tain dominate much of the land. The reds are lighter than those of Hermitage and softer than those from the vineyards planted accross the river in St Joseph. Here the rich clay limestone soils are less acidic than those of the granite slopes further west, the best wines that result are usually dark, rich, spicy, sturdy wines with reasonably round, pliable textures. The vineyard area spans over 1250ha so quality can be variable, unfortunately. However a good Crozes should drink well after 2-3 years, the best keeping well for 5-7.