The 1990 Hermitage La Chapelle lived up to its reputation on this occasion, and of the three titans (1990, 1978 and 1961), it was probably my favorite. Still inky colored and ruby at the rim, it offers an absolutely profound bouquet of sweet cassis, smoked meats, chocolate, licorice and spice. This is followed by a full-bodied, insanely textured, pure and hedonistic palate that has that perfect mix of still-vibrant fruit and ample secondary nuances. I suspect the '61 was even richer at this stage, but the overall purity and freshness here are incredible. It will continue to evolve for decades, but I'd happily open bottles today. Drink now-2040.
The color remains an opaque purple, with only a slight pink at the edge. Spectacular aromatics offer up aromas of incense, smoke, blackberry fruit, cassis, barbecue spice, coffee, and a touch of chocolate. As it sits in the glass, additional nuances of pepper and grilled steak emerge. There is extraordinary freshness for such a mammoth wine in addition to abundant tannin, an amazing 60-second finish, and a level of glycerin and thick, fleshy texture that have to be tasted to be believed. Despite its youthfulness, the 1990 La Chapelle is lovely to drink, although it will be even better with another 5-6 years of cellaring; it should age for 35-40+ years. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2050 (RP)
Gorgeous aromas of dark berry, dried meat, dried berry, game, wet earth and licorice. Floral. Full body with a wonderful texture of dried fruits, spices and berries. Very dense and muscular with wonderful balance and length. Dense and intense. Blockbuster style.
As expected from this ideal vintage, this '90 is sensational. Inky in color and solidly anchored in its terroir, it springs to life with a symphony of flavors, from mineral to wet earth and blackberry. Marvelous balance among fruit, acidity and smooth tannins. (PM)
Rhone lovers were out in full force on this night. Sadly, I only got to taste a handful of the wines being passed around. Still, these were four of the greatest wines I have ever tasted. The 1990 La Chapelle held its own in this grouping, and then some. The purity of the fruit and the wine’s finish were mind-bending. (AG)
Very dark blackish ruby. Masses of fine sediment. Meaty and pungent on the nose. Proper Hermitage! Sweet palate entry and lots of evolution into a sweet leathery tarmacadam whole with real grip still. No hurry to drink. 18/20 Points (JR)
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