Browse Tag


He said, she Cèdres

Jaboulet 1995 Châteaneuf-du-Pape “Les Cèdres” (Rhône) – As each of what was once a fair stock of Jaboulets leaves my cellar, I breathe a sigh of relief. They just aren’t my style, which is my dodgy way of saying that I simply can’t understand the praise lavished on the wines by ostensibly right-thinking people. That they’re hard and chronically abused by their structure is almost a given, but the tumescence of an Hermitage is one thing, while a similar lack of yield in a Châteauneuf-du-Pape is quite another. There are, here, liquefied black peppercorns and what might, once, have been a presence that once, long ago, glimpsed a black and white painting of a blackberry from a few blocks away. Otherwise, all is dust and solidity, now eroded and crumbling but still architecturally sound. It is not, I hasten to say, a bad wine, and there’s certainly intellectual interest. But my enjoyment has dried up only somewhat more slowly than the wines. (5/12)

As the Crozes flies

Jaboulet 2006 Crozes-Hermitage (Rhône) – Watery and insipid, as if liquid smoke had been added to the most timid of artificial blackberry drinks-in-a-box. Embarrassing. (4/10)

Smarter than your average Thalabert

Jaboulet “Domaine de Thalabert” 1998 Crozes-Hermitage (Rhône) – Hard as these always are, but much more generously aromatic than they have been of late. Rhône syrah, unquestionably, with the nanoparticle leather and dried remnants of dark green herbs, but adding that wall of structure so inimitably Jabouletesque. Quite appealing, but you’ve gotta like tannin. (1/10)

Jalets doughnut

[label]Jaboulet 2004 Crozes-Hermitage “Les Jalets” (Rhône) – Oppressively hard. tannic, and sharp-edged, with a touch of Band-Aid and a heart, skeleton, and musculature of charred blackness. Are these wines ever enjoyable? Does Jaboulet make wines for people to drink, or am I supposed to seal my driveway with this? (6/09)

Goin’ to the chapel

Jaboulet 1995 Hermitage “La Chapelle” (Rhône) – La Chapelle is one of the more maddening wines from this region; sometimes it’s terrific, sometimes it’s meager, and sometimes it’s simply disappointing. This is one of the former, though that may have more than a little to do with its surprisingly forward nature. Firm minerality is delivered, stone by stone and with a gentle hand, amidst a humid vapor of generalized meatiness and herbality. The wine is as structured and solemn as the little chapel that is its namesake (even if the grapes themselves are from elsewhere), but for whatever reason it’s drinking quite well at the moment. (8/07)