Jeb Dunnuck's #2 Wine of 2020.
As I wrote last year from barrel, the 2018 Hermitage La Chapelle is a backward, primordial Hermitage built for the ages. Incredible crème de cassis, blueberries, scorched earth, burning embers, and liquid violet-like aromas and flavors dominate the bouquet, and this beauty is full-bodied, concentrated, and powerful on the palate. With just hints of the smoky, meaty, beefy character that emerges from all aged examples of this cuvée, it has incredible tannins, perfect balance, and a monster of a finish. Don't think about touching bottles for at least 7-8 years, and it's going to keep for 50 years or more. 2027 - 2078
The beautifully proportioned 2018 Hermitage La Chapelle comes across as a complex, complete version of this renowned bottling, with no rough edges—just moderate spice, cassis, red berries and cedar on the nose. It's medium to full-bodied, silky and fine, brimming with harmony and elegance on the palate, while the finish is long, echoing with cassis, charcoal and crushed stone. The tannins firm up a bit on the finish, so I suspect this will close down soon, then blossom sometime after 2025. 2025 - 2040
Jaboulet's 2018 Hermitage La Chapelle features scents of crushed stone, violets and cassis. It's a classic trio, backed by a wine that's full-bodied, rich and powerful yet also airy, somehow carrying intense plum and black olive flavors without any sense of heaviness or excess weight. Then the wine finishes long and softly dusty, with tannins that accentuate its savory character, picking up delicious hints of licorice at the very end. The proportion of new oak has been trimmed back to a very reasonable 20% and is hardly noticeable in the wine. 2023-2045
A deep, powerful, primordial wine (which is exactly what you’d expect for a great vintage of this cuvée), the inky hued 2018 Hermitage La Chapelle offers tons of crème de cassis as well as a liquid rock-like minerality, peppery herbs, burning embers, and graphite aromas and flavors. The palate mirrors the intensity of the bouquet and is full-bodied, concentrated, and tight, yet still packs a huge amount of baby fat. The 2018 is a beautifully pure, balanced, massively endowed La Chapelle that will need a decade of cellaring and keep for 3-4 decades with no problems.