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The Society's 150th Anniversary Hermitage 2015

Red Wine from France - Rhone
2.666670000 star rating 3 Reviews
Being given the keys to the cellars of the world-famous Paul Jaboulet Aîné is no small deal. For a wine to mark our 150th birthday we were allowed to make our own interpretation of Hermitage. and ended up using half-and-half of fruit from Méal and Diognière. The result is rich, succulent and very full-flavoured: a grand statement in an extraordinary vintage. For more on the story of this wine, please scroll down.
Price: £58.00 Bottle
Price: £348.00 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: RH49871

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Full-bodied
  • Syrah/Shiraz
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2035
  • 14% Alcohol
  • bouquet/flavour marked by oak
  • Cork, natural

More on the wine

Our relationship with the world-renowned Paul Jaboulet Aîné goes back to the 1960s and we were given privileged access to create a unique Hermitage from the 2015 vintage.

The man credited with starting the family firm was Antoine Jaboulet in the early nineteenth century. Antoine had twin sons, Henri and Paul. Both expanded the business but it was the elder (aîné) brother who had the business named after him giving the full title of the firm: Paul Jaboulet Aîné.

The generations passed until Louis and his brother Jean arrived on the scene. Louis was the brains and marketing genius and it was he who, by some accident, made the very first contact with The Society some 40 years ago. Among the first wines ever bought would have been La Chapelle 1961, probably one of the greatest wines ever made.

Paul Jaboulet Aîné

The man credited with starting the family firm was Antoine Jaboulet in the early 19th century. Antoine had twin sons, Henri and Paul. Both expanded the business but it was the elder (aîné) brother who had the business named after him giving the full title of the firm: Paul Jaboulet Aîné. The generations passed until Louis and his brother Jean arrived on the scene. Louis was the brains and marketing genius and it was he who, by some accident, made the very first contact with The Society some 40 years ago. Among the first wines ever bought would have been La Chapelle 1961, probably one of the greatest wines ever made.

Louis Jaboulet remained in charge for some time until his son Gérard was rightly put in charge. Gérard, brilliant and outgoing like his father, was a worthy successor and became the driving force behind the firm. Sadly, a succession of calamities in the 1990’s were about to endanger the firm’s survival. In the early 1990s Gérard’s equally talented brother Jacques, who had overseen winemaking, was involved in a scuba-diving accident which left him in a coma for months and from then on unable to recover his influence. Then, tragically in 1997, Gérard died suddenly, aged just 55. Gérard was not just the driving force of Jaboulet; he also had the authority that held the family together. Following his passing, the next generation, young and inexperienced, struggled to cope. The baton was...

The man credited with starting the family firm was Antoine Jaboulet in the early 19th century. Antoine had twin sons, Henri and Paul. Both expanded the business but it was the elder (aîné) brother who had the business named after him giving the full title of the firm: Paul Jaboulet Aîné. The generations passed until Louis and his brother Jean arrived on the scene. Louis was the brains and marketing genius and it was he who, by some accident, made the very first contact with The Society some 40 years ago. Among the first wines ever bought would have been La Chapelle 1961, probably one of the greatest wines ever made.

Louis Jaboulet remained in charge for some time until his son Gérard was rightly put in charge. Gérard, brilliant and outgoing like his father, was a worthy successor and became the driving force behind the firm. Sadly, a succession of calamities in the 1990’s were about to endanger the firm’s survival. In the early 1990s Gérard’s equally talented brother Jacques, who had overseen winemaking, was involved in a scuba-diving accident which left him in a coma for months and from then on unable to recover his influence. Then, tragically in 1997, Gérard died suddenly, aged just 55. Gérard was not just the driving force of Jaboulet; he also had the authority that held the family together. Following his passing, the next generation, young and inexperienced, struggled to cope. The baton was passed between several members of the family, who never quite managed to restore the harmony and success of old in the wines as much as in family relations.

In 2005 news came that the entire family business had been sold to Franco-Swiss financier, Jean-Jacques Frey, who also owns Château La Lagune in Bordeaux as well as having a large holding in Champagne house Billecart-Salmon. His daughter, Caroline Frey, is in charge of winemaking. Much has changed, with Frey’s considerable wealth allowing Jaboulet to invest heavily in new cellars as well as more vineyards in Côte-Rôtie and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, for example. The wines themselves are certainly more convincing than those made during the tumultuous period following Gérard’s death, but it is still early days for the new regime.

The wines
At the heart of the estate is Hermitage where Jaboulet own 22 hectares, a little less than Chapoutier. The vineyards, in descending order of size, are Méal, Maisons Blanches, Bessards, Diognieres, La Croix and Rocoules. It is the blend of syrah grapes from these vineyards that make La Chapelle, which is a brand name and not a vineyard. Indeed, though the chapel itself, from where the wine takes its name is owned by Jaboulet, the vines around belong mostly to Chapoutier and Chave.

As impactful as La Chapelle, and certainly more affordable, is Crozes-Hermitage from the Thalabert vineyard, an original Jaboulet planting. Another important area for Jaboulet is Cornas, where they make some of the appellation’s best wines, from fruit grown on their own estate at Saint Pierre, and from grapes purchased from other growers.

Environmental sustainability
The Frey family began the move to organic production when they acquired the business. As of 2016, all Jaboulet vineyards are certified organic, with biodynamic approaches used as well. Moreover, every effort is made to limit the amount even of the chemicals permitted by organic production.

There is also a significant focus on biodiversity. To this end, hundreds of trees have been planted around their properties, while substantial organic fruit and vegetable gardens keep Jaboulet’s restaurant, Vineum, and its staff in fresh produce. Two specially created nature reserves in Crozes-Hermitage, one at the heart of Thalabert and the other at Domaine de Roure, are refuges for myriad wildlife. There is also a focus on encouraging indigenous bird and bat species.

Social sustainability
Jaboulet work closely with the local community, and schools enjoy regular nature-watching initiatives. In 2017, Caroline Frey created Continuum, France’s first biodiversity association, bringing major local companies together to preserve the ecosystem of the Drôme region. It’s projects such as this that doubtless secured a well-deserved win for Jaboulet in the biodiversity category of the 2021 Drinks Business Green Awards.

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JancisRobinson.com

Deep, powerful, profound – a fine example of 2015 from the northern Rhône. The 150th Anniversary blend avoided the ultra-granitic soils, opting for a slightly softer style. Brooding nose, brambles and red ...
Deep, powerful, profound – a fine example of 2015 from the northern Rhône. The 150th Anniversary blend avoided the ultra-granitic soils, opting for a slightly softer style. Brooding nose, brambles and red berries, with a meaty background note. Sinewy tannins, fine line of acidity on the lingering finish. One of the few wines in this range that could do with a few more years’ ageing.
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Andy Howard MW

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