1998 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle (France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage)

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Crozes-Hermitage, France, Northern Rhône, Red Wine, Rhône, Syrah

This one isn’t going to win you over with its fruit forward-ness. That said, this wine has amazing finesse, elegance, freshness, and yet, it is able to pack impressive intensity of flavor. Silky texture that’s more reminiscent of Pinot Noir than Syrah. The nose is soaring out of the glass and olive tapenade, black pepper, dried herbs and blackberry are the primary flavors. There’s a sappiness in this wine that I don’t traditionally associate with Syrah, especially US Syrah. Finishes tremendously well and just a stunning bottle of wine. Although it is certainly a terrific food wine, this is actually a bottle that one can drink and ponder…an “intellectual wine”. The only regret I have is that I don’t own a case full of this.

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I am not a professional wine taster, nor do I have any professional training in the wine trade. I am a wine enthusiast who has spent countless hours tasting wines of many different styles. My palate is not aligned with a single wine critic, and I call all wines "as I taste them". My site is a source of tasting notes and wine recommendations as well as warnings without conflict of interest. You'll just have to figure out how your palate aligns with mine. My palate generally tends to veer towards Old-World wines that put a premium on terroir and lovely balance and finesse, rather than raw power...please keep that in mind as you read my notes.

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