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Maison Paul Jaboulet was founded by Antoine Jaboulet in the year 1834, a century before the creation of the French AOC system. Since then, it has become one of the most important references in the Northern Rhone region, producing a wide range of consistently high quality wines from the Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Cornas, St. Péray, St. Joseph and Condrieu appellations. The property was acquired 10 years ago by the Frey family, who also own the prestigious Chateau La Lagune in Bordeaux and have a history of winemaking in Champagne. The Frey family began a project to convert the estate's 100 hectares of vineyards to biodynamic and sustainable practices. Today, Owner and Oenologist Caroline Frey works alongside Winemaking Director Jacques Desvernois to produce a wonderful range of wines that sets a high standards for the region. The fruit for the Crozes-Hermitage "Domaine de Thalabert" 2015 from Paul Jaboulet Aine is sourced from the first vineyard ever to be purchased by Paul Jaboulet, in 1834, and also the oldest vineyard of the Crozes-Hermitage appellation with a total area of 41.5 hectares. The vines here, 60-80 years old on average, are farmed using biodynamic practices. They stretch their roots deep into stony terraces of glacial origin, where round stones store heat during the day and release it at night to allow the fruit to reach maturity in a slow, gradual manner. This 100% Syrah wine is matured for 12 months in French oak barrels, of which 20% is new.
The Crozes-Hermitage "Domaine de Thalabert" 2015 from Maison Paul Jaboulet Aine displays in the glass a deep ruby color, which is very clear and brilliant. On the nose, this Rhone Valley wine is intense and complex, revealing the pure essence of small red fruits and black fruits (cassis), along with hints of graphite and subtle barnyard aromas. On the palate, this wine is consistent with the nose, offering a beautiful balance of power and finesse, and revealing an immensely long and satisfying finish with a subtle black pepper spice typical of Syrah from this region. This wine will evolve very nicely over the course of 8 to 20 years aged in bottle.
The 2015 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert is a super effort, packed with savory notes of black olives and crushed stones. It's full-bodied and rich, with a hint of cedary oak, but there's plenty of fruit and ripe tannins on the lingering finish. Like some of those fine Thalabert vintages of the past, it should drink well for a couple of decades.