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Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Maison Bleue 2020  - First Bottle


93-95 Vinous -
Full, bright-rimmed violet. Highly fragrant cherry and black raspberry scents, along with suggestions of pipe tobacco, olive, peony and baking spices. Juicy and energetic in the mouth, offering concentrated red and blue fruit, floral pastille, smoky bacon and spicecake flavors that become sweeter on the back half. Smooth, rounded tannins build steadily on a very long, mineral- and spice-accented finish that leaves behind suggestions of mocha and allspice. 20% new oak.
95 Falstaff -
Dark ruby in colour with purple reflections and subtle brightening on the ochre rim. On the nose aromas of blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, subtle hints of liquorice and nougat, darkly mineral with fine oak spice and sweet tobacco. The palate is juicy and powerful, full of sweet cherry fruit with ripe, rounded tannins. Chocolatey and accessible with a saline minerality this is already well developed and easy to drink.
94 James Suckling -
An intense nose expressing dark notes of blackberries, dark plums, mocha, stones, bark and hints of grilled herbs and undergrowth. It’s full-bodied with fine tannins. It’s restrained and ample with layers and texture. Focused with a dense core of dark fruits and some bitter chocolate and spices towards the long finish. Try after 2027
92-94 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
Mostly sourced from les Murets, the 2020 Hermitage La Maison Bleue is a solid effort, with appealing notes of blackberries, raspberries and espresso on the nose. It's full-bodied and rich, yet streamlined and focused, with savory tones of black olives appearing on the softly dusty finish. It should drink well young, yet age well for more than a decade.
93 Jeb Dunnuck -
There are under 2,000 cases of the 2020 Hermitage La Maison Bleue, which comes from the Murets, La Croix, and Dionnières lieux-dits on the eastern side of Hermitage. This classic, elegant, charming effort has beautiful dark, almost blue fruits, plenty of violet, graphite, and chocolate nuances, medium to full body, and a round, supple, sexy style. This beauty is going to benefit from just 2-4 years and evolve for 15+.
92 Decanter -
A classy, fresh and aromatic display, this is harmonious already. Medium-bodied, with more measured fruit and freshness on the palate, fine tannins and plenty of them. The oak is well-integrated. It is slightly warming on the palate, but is otherwise well-balanced. Long finish.

Technical Details

  • BlendSyrah
  • WinemakerCaroline Frey
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionRhone
  • AppellationHermitage
  • Farming MethodBiodynamic Practices
  • Oak20% new oak
  • Alcohol15.5%

Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Maison Bleue 2020

Syrah  |  France
FS95, VN93-95, JS94, WA92-94, JD93, DC92

Biodynamic Practices
25% off retail!

Hailing from one of the wine world’s most historic appellations, this wine is a fantastic entry into the magic that is Hermitage Hill. The power, the depth, the minerality – the very throne of syrah itself – all for under $60! 95 points is the cherry on top, as this is one of the world’s greatest quality-for-value syrahs anywhere!

Paul Jaboulet is an estate that needs no introduction – one of the very best Northern Rhone estates of all time, known for crafting elegant, age-worthy wines that are among the greatest in the world. Their iconic “La Chappelle” is rightfully considered one of the most famous wines in history, and hails from neighboring plots on this very same hill. “La Maison Bleue” clocks in at about 80% less than the going rate for that flagship, but with the same attention to care, the same organic and biodynamic focus, and many of the same revered Hermitage characteristics. This is an under-the-radar steal from such a noteworthy house and a gem for any Rhone collector.

The fruit for this exceptionally valued and pedigreed Hermitage comes from the eastern edge of Hermitage Hill, as the landscape slopes down and away from the mighty Rhone River. The lieux-dits of Les Murets, La Croix, and Doignières make up the majority of this wine – three parcels that had traditionally been planted mostly to marsanne, but slowly migrating year by year over the past few decades to syrah – in response both to demand and climate change. Mostly granitic soils, intermixed with alluvial deposits are the shared earth here, with an exposure that receives plenty of sunshine, and that all-important cooling breeze from its proximity to the Rhone River.

With under 2,000 cases made in 2020, this is a relatively small production in the portfolio, and not as widely known as some of the winery’s other offerings. With critical praise like this, that may all soon change, however, and we’re just ecstatic to have secured a parcel early on this. The wine is concentrated and angular here in its youth, with a delicate beauty that is revealed with air and time. Eventual aromatics of violets, lilacs, smoky herbs, and sweet earth waft from the glass, with a flavor profile that goes brooding and dark–redolent with crushed blackberry, black raspberry, plum, and blueberry. Accompanying accents of bacon fat, espresso, tobacco, and licorice lend the wine extraordinary depth, and the mineral, saline edge carries into an impressive finish. This is a wine just starting to shine, and only to improve over the next five to fifteen years. Again, for the price, this is simply a remarkable effort, not to be ignored, and surely not to be missed! We got as much as we could, but when it comes to Jaboulet – you can never have enough!

About the Producer

Originally founded by Antoine Jaboulet in 1834, the domaine eventually took ownership of the finest appellations of the northern Rhone Valley, including Hermitage and Crozes Hermitage, as well as Saint-Joseph, Cornas and Saint-Peray. The Jaboulet family sold the company to the Frey family in 2006 and Caroline Frey is now at the helm and the wines could not be better.