I have always been a huge fan of this wine, with incredible depth and richness of character. Dried meat, game, berry, spice, asphalt and tar. Full body with layers of ripe tannins and spice. It goes on for minutes on the finish. This is a fabulously spicy with black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, black truffles, sous bois and licorice. Decant two or three hours before serving. Purity and balance. This is the legendary 1961 again.
Lacking that extra dimension of freshness and purity of the '90, the 1989 Hermitage la Chapelle is still a fabulous wine that offers sensational aromatic fireworks to go with full-bodied richness and depth. Showing classic la Chapelle smoked meats, currants, wood smoke and chocolate, this beauty hits the palate with no hard edges, a blockbuster texture and a finish that just won't quit. It shows the slightly more masculine, austere edge of the vintage, but the tannin is beautifully sweet and it packs a serious amount of fruit in the mid-palate. (JD)
A torrid summer with little rain and good weather during the harvest led to a Chapelle of immense potential. Burly and not as seamless as the '90, with layers of this wine's typical plum, mineral and blackberry notes. While monolithic like a granite block, all the pieces should come together as it ages. (PM)
Blackish ruby with an orange rim. Rich, charred nose and some sweetness on the palate. Definitely not over the hill this bottle. Mildly animal edge but the sweetness won out. 18/20 points. (JR)
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