20 October 2021
Jaboulet, the one-time powerhouse of the Rhône Valley, has been making moves back to its former glory for a number of years under the guidance of Caroline Frey, the “rising star of French wine”.
Founded in 1834 by Antoine Jaboulet, and with important holdings in both Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage, Jaboulet formed a network of hundreds of Rhône Valley growers from whom they purchased fruit. Until World War II, most of its wine was sold in cask, often to Bordeaux and Burgundy.
Under the legendary Louis Jaboulet, who ran the estate from 1935 until handing over to his son Gérard in 1977, Jaboulet began bottling more of their own wines, giving birth to great branded cuvées that Louis crafted through his relationships with some of the Rhône’s finest domaines.
Following Gerard’s untimely death in 1997, Jaboulet somewhat lost its way, with family disputes leading to a period of regression and inconsistent quality of the wines. Fortunately, in 2006 the estate was purchased by Jean-Jacques Frey, owner of Chateau La Lagune and a shareholder in Champagne Billecart-Salmon. More importantly he is father to Caroline Fray, who was turning heads for her exceptional work at La Lagune, restoring its reputation and producing excellent wines within just a couple of years of taking the reins. A feat she went on to repeat at Jaboulet.
Caroline is a fully qualified enologist and since 2015, all of her wines at Paul Jaboulet Aine have been U.S standard certified organic.
“(Caroline) is one of the most exciting and respected winemakers in France, working organically and biodynamically at acclaimed properties in Bordeaux, the Rhône, Burgundy and Switzerland, and recipient of a Légion d’Honneur ‘order of merit’ for her services to winemaking. And she’s still not even 40.” – Jane Anson, Decanter
With this icon of the Rhône back on track, we are pleased to offer Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage Blanc Chevalier de Sterimberg 2018.
70% Marsanne and 30% Roussanne, this wine carries Caroline’s trademark elegance and drive for quality with The Wine Advocate’s Joe Czerwinski describing it as “lush in the mouth—generous but structured” 95 points. Jeb Dunnuck awards 94+ points describing “a vibrant, racy white offering impressive intensity”. James Suckling and Vinous’ Josh Reynolds both award 94 points with Reynolds noting “very good depth as well as energy”.
We have bottles, magnums and double magnums available, and for those of you inclined to hold your wines, this should cellar nicely for at least the next 20 years.
Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage Blanc Chevalier de Sterimberg 2018
£240 per case 6x75cl IB
£245 per case 3x150cl IB
£130 per case 1x300cl IB
95 Points / Joe Czerwinski / The Wine Advocate
There hasn’t been a La Chapelle Blanc since 2014, as Caroline Frey hasn’t found that special lot that warrants such an exalted designation. Fans of her whites have to make do with wines like the 2018 Hermitage Blanc Le Chevalier de Sterimberg. A blend of two-thirds Marsanne and one-third Roussanne, made mainly in concrete eggs but with a few 600-liter demi-muids in the mix, it offers up aromas of toasted cashews alongside ripe pear, melon and even peach. Medium to full-bodied, it’s lush in the mouth—generous but structured, with a long, long finish of citrus and stones.
94+ Points / Jeb Dunnuck
A blend of 70% Marsanne and 30% Roussanne, the 2018 Hermitage Le Chevalier De Sterimberg Blanc is a vibrant, racy white offering impressive intensity in its apple blossom, crushed citrus, salty mineral, and white flower-like aromas and flavors. A touch more honey and spice notes emerge with time in the glass, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with a nicely concentrated, elegant style, and a great finish. This cuvée under the helm of Frey always leans towards the fresher, more elegant end of the spectrum, yet her 2018 has impressive richness, moderate fat and opulence, and is going to evolve for 20 years or more.
94 Points / Vinous / Josh Reynolds
Diaphanous gold. Expressive, mineral-tinged orchard and pit fruits on the highly perfumed nose, with floral and lemon curd nuances building in the glass. Shows very good depth as well as energy to the sappy, mineral-accented tangerine, Anjou pear and honey flavors, which steadily tighten up through the midpalate. The floral element comes back on the lively, focused finish, sweetened by a discreet honey accent.
94 Points / James Suckling
This is two-thirds marsanne and one-third roussanne and it sees some demi-muid elevage. Very fresh, peach and pear aromas with a focused, ripe and juicy palate that wields glycerol and smooth fruit flesh. Long finish with pears, white peaches and melon. Very even. Drink or hold.
We can also offer the following vintages of Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage Blanc Chevalier de Sterimberg:
2014 @ £240 per case 6x75cl IB – 93 WA
2010 @ £210 per case 6x75cl IB – 94 WA
Enquire about this offer below:
Subscribe to our News Letter