Please welcome Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aîné, an iconic winery from Hermitage in the Northern Rhone Valley to the Vancouver International Wine Festival. Let them introduce themselves to you today.
About Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aîné
In 1834, a full 100 years before the introduction of the A.O.C. system, Antoine Jaboulet began to transform a sleepy region into one of the most important quality winegrowing terroirs in the world. Since that time, Paul Jaboulet Aîné has become the benchmark in the Northern Rhône, with the iconic Hermitage ‘La Chapelle’ being responsible for some of the greatest wines ever produced.
Ten years ago, the Frey family purchased this historic property and committed tremendous effort and resources to improve upon the already legendary estate. They converted the estate vineyards to biodynamic principles and encouraged sustainable practices from every family grower they work with. This is one of France’s finest estates, the crown jewel of the Rhône Valley. Oenologist and proprietor Caroline Frey is producing an authentic standard for quality Syrah across the Northern Rhône.
Caroline Frey, Winemaker
In 1999, Caroline Frey enrolled at the Institute of Oenology – Bordeaux University. A year after she graduated top of her class, she began running a recently acquired family estate, Chateau La Lagune. Being a woman winemaker from Champagne running a classified Chateau in Bordeaux did not sit well with the “old school” Bordeaux wine community. Despite the doubts of others, she met them all head-on. She determined that if she picked the fruit a little earlier and the wine spent less time in oak the wines would be bright and fruity. This was outside of the norm at the time as the style was higher alcohol, more heavily oaked Bordeaux. While it was a risk, the public and critics found it to be quite worth it. The new style was met with rave reviews.
Several years after her success in Bordeaux, the Frey family acquired Paul Jaboulet Aine, which was established nearly 170 years earlier. The estate sits on the famous Hermitage Hill in Northern Rhone. It was owned by the 6th generation of the Jaboulet family. However, the family saw two of their biggest driving forces pass away unexpectedly within just two years of each other, and it was decided to sell the winery. In 2006, the Jaboulet family sold the winery to the Freys.
Caroline Frey immediately began making upgrades to the facilities and techniques. She implemented organic and biodynamic viticulture techniques. The facilities were expanded. Upgrades included cold storage for harvested fruit, an optical sorter, gravity flow, additional cellar space for barrel, tank, or concrete egg fermentation and ageing. With each successive vintage, the purifying effects of these natural agricultural improvements can be felt and tasted. (http://abommaritowines.com/4597-2/)
The Wines We Will Feature at the International Festival Tasting Room
Parallele 45 White 2018 – a blend of 50% Grenache Blanc, 20% Marsanne, 20% Viognier and 10% Bourboulenc. The wine has a pale gold colour with green highlights. The nose, fresh and aromatic, releases aromas of pears, lemons and white flowers. Ample and warm, the palate is well balanced with notes of pears. A beautiful vintage, fine and elegant, with a fresh finish.(www.12bouteilles.com)
Parallele 45 Rose 2018 – a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, and 10% Syrah. Grenache adds aromatic red fruits, Cinsault keeps the wine lights on its feet, and Syrah lends the structure and spice. Fermented and aged in stainless tanks. A beautifully fresh and mineral-driven Rhône rosé with floral notes of wild berries, white pepper, and cherries. This exquisitely balanced rosé is very much Provencal in style. (www.empirewine.com)
Crozes Hermitage Les Jalets Rouge 2017 – Made from Syrah, this wine has a bright, ruby red in colour with youthful violet lights. On the nose, the wine is fresh and aromatic, with perfumes of tart red berries with a hint of spice. On the palate, it is unoaked, young and vibrant, with rich, ripe red fruits and licorice on the finish. (www.winedirect.co.uk)
Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu 2016 – this wine is a blend of 80% Grenache Noir, 10% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. The 2016 Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu De Pere en Filles is a full-bodied, open-knit blend of 80% Grenache and 10% each Mourvèdre and Syrah. Hints of alfalfa appear on the nose, while the flavours trend more toward plummy black cherries. Rich and ripe yet easy to drink, it finishes with mouthwatering length. (www.saratogawine.com)
Chateauneuf du Pape Les Cedres 2016 – a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. The wine is aged for 12 months in large, used, French oak cuves tronconiques of around 150 hl. Deep garnet colour with brick-red rim. Mature nose with earthy notes of dried plums, tobacco and spicy oak. Medium-to-full bodied, well balanced with powerful flavours of dried plums, tobacco, sweet liquorice and spicy oak. Great harmony, smooth mouthfeel and a long finish. (www.advintage.co.nz)