I’ve been lucky enough to drink probably a case of the 1990 Hermitage La Chapelle, and it’s always either rated pure perfection or just off that magical number. On this occasion, it tasted like a newly released wine and offered incredible purity and freshness in its crème de cassis, crushed rocks, spring flowers, chocolate, and smoke meat aromas and flavors. Deep, brilliantly concentrated, yet also elegant and seamless, it’s just now starting to show hints of secondary aromas and is going to be incredibly long-lived. One of the greatest Hermitages ever made, life is too short not to drink this once in your life!
The 1990 La Chapelle is the sexy and opulent. I had the 1990 at the Jaboulet tasting, and again out of a double magnum three months ago. On both occasions it was spectacular, clearly meriting a three-digit score. The modern day equivalent of the 1961, it deserves all the attention it has garnered. 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. (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. Delicious now, but can hold. (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. (JR) 18/20
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