Jeb Dunnuck 97
One of my favorite vintages of this cuvée, the 2009 Hermitage La Chapelle comes from a ripe, blockbuster styled year yet now, at age 13, is pure, classic Hermitage with its darker currant and blackberry fruits as well as notes of smoked meats, leather, soy sauce, graphite, and roasted herbs. Powerful, concentrated, and full-bodied on the palate, it’s shed most of its baby fat and has a classic, elegant mouthfeel, ripe yet still present tannins, and a gorgeous finish. This is clearly the finest example of this cuvée after the 1990. However, while the 1990 still tastes like an infant, this certainly shows some maturity and is ready to go. Nevertheless, it has another 20-30 years of prime drinking ahead of it.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2052
Robert Parker 98
It will be thrilling to follow the 2009 and 2010 la Chapelles over the coming 40-50 years. Much more sexy, voluptuous and layered than the 2010, the 2009 Hermitage la Chapelle offers sensational levels of extract and concentration to go with notes of cassis, black raspberries, coffee bean, toasted bread and sweet spice. Beautifully pure, layered, and yet massively endowed, with sweet tannin, it will be drinkable at an earlier age than the 2010, but I suspect will be just as long lived. It’s a true tour de force in Hermitage!
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2059
Opaque purple. Complex, highly fragrant aromas of candied dark fruits, cola, incense and violet, with bright mineral and spice nuances adding lift and energy. Stains the palate with deep blackberry and boysenberry flavors that expand and gain sweetness with aeration. Refuses to let up on the finish, which leaves peppery spice and floral pastille notes behind.