The 1998 vintage was the first full vintage for winemaker Laurent Jaboulet. The 1998 Hermitage la Chapelle is a solid, complex, medium to full-bodied, elegant and fully mature la Chapelle that offers perfumed notes of Asian spices, dried flowers, ground herbs and sweet, dark fruits. Charming, supple and drinking nicely today, I'd lean toward enjoying bottles over the coming 5-10 years while it's still holding onto its pretty core of fruit. Drink 2012-2025.
What a great wine. Full-bodied, with crushed berry, smoke and grilled aromas, all presented quite subtly. Stands out for its natural, down-to-earth taste of clean, pure, shining fruit. A pleasure to drink. Tempting now. Best from 2003 through 2015. 7,765 cases made. –PM
The softest, most precocious of the three most recent vintages of the famed Hermitage La Chapelle is the 1998. Its deep ruby/purple colour is followed by a sweet blackberry and cassis-scented nose that has not yet begun to take on the secondary nuances of leather, dried herbs, and foresty notes. A full-bodied wine, it has a sweet attack, high tannin, and excellent concentration and purity. If my instincts are right, it will require 6-8 years of bottle age, and should keep for 2-3 decades. A medium-weight La Chapelle , it will not be as concentrated and fat as the 1997, not as backward and dense as the 1996.