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2016 Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage 'Maison Bleue'


2016 Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage 'Maison Bleue'

On Sale: $59.94 (was: $69.94)*

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From top to bottom Jaboulet produces standard-setting Hermitage, and their newest addition to the lineup is definitely turning some heads thanks to a rarely seen price in this exclusive AOC. The ‘Maison Bleue’ takes the place of Jaboulet’s ‘Petite Chapelle’, but rather than being declassified lots from ‘La Chapelle’ (at $200+) this is its own bottling sourced from vineyards on the eastern side of Hermitage.

The distinct terroir on that side of the hill yields a “ripe, sexy, medium to full-bodied Hermitage” (Dunnuck) that gives a wonderfully approachable impression, despite having the bones to age. We think the decision to move from a baby Chapelle to a new wallet friendly Hermitage from its own distinct vineyards was a fantastic one, and it’s an incredible price for a Hermitage from this historic property.

Jaboulet is one of the Rhone’s most historic estates, and current owner Caroline Frey has been responsible for bringing it back to its former glory, what Robert Parker called “one of the great qualitative turn arounds in the wine world”. Converting to all estate-grown fruit, sustainable farming and a new gravity fed cellar are just a few of the improvements, and things have never looked better. This is only the second vintage for Maison Bleue, and it has had a pretty auspicious debut with the incredible 15/16 vintage. 2016 was a very classical vintage, and a terrific contrast to 2015. Hermitage is so often hundreds of dollars these days, but this beautiful 2016 hits a home run at only $59.94!

94 points, Vinous: "Expressive, smoke- and spice-accented dark fruit preserve, potpourri and incense scents are complemented by hints of licorice and olive paste. At once ripe and lively in the mouth, offering densely packed blackberry, blueberry and spicecake flavors that become spicier with aeration. Sneaky tannins give shape and solid grip to an impressively long, energetic finish that features lingering suggestions of candied flowers and dark berries."

93 points, Jeb Dunnuck: "This deep ruby/purple-colored beauty gives up loads of black raspberry, toasted spiced, incense, and crushed rock aromatics. This flows to a ripe, sexy, medium to full-bodied Hermitage that has moderate tannins, a layered, beautifully pure, elegant, even charming texture, and a great finish. It's already approachable yet will have 10-15 years of prime drinking."

*Offer publication date February 25, 2022. Pricing and availability subject to change.