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Jaboulet Hermitage Blanc Le Chevalier de Sterimberg 2010

Rhone White Blends from Hermitage, Rhone, France
  • WS95
  • RP94
  • WE93
0% ABV
  • RP94
  • V94
  • RP93
  • JS93
  • WS92
  • RP94
  • W&S93
  • WS93
  • W&S91
  • RP90
  • WE94
  • RP92
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Winemaker Notes

The little chapel of Saint-Christophe is situated at the top of the hillside. It was built in 1235 by the knight Gaspard de Stérimberg after he gained the permission of the ‘White Queen of Castille' to establish his hermitage on this hill after being injured during the Albigensian crusade of 1224.

Blend: Marsanne: 65%, Roussanne: 35%

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 95
Wine Spectator
A beauty, with green fig and green almond notes out front, followed by salted butter, chamomile, quinine and white peach flavors that pump through the finish. Shows great cut and intensity, with taut, finely beaded acidity drawing out the finish. Best from 2015 through 2030.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Not surprisingly, the prodigious 2010 Hermitage Chevalier de Sterimberg (about 15,000 bottles produced) is firm and closed, behaving more like a serious red wine than a white. A true grand cru white from the Northern Rhone, it exhibits crisp acidity, lots of tangerine oil, orange marmalade, honeysuckle and acacia flower-like notes intermixed with hints of quince, fig and wet rocks. It would be interesting to place this full-bodied, stunning white in a tasting of Burgundy grand crus.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This is just as en pointe as the 2009 we reviewed last year, if in a completely different frame. Where 2009 was airy and open, this is compact and compressed; while 09 was vivacious, 2010 is austere. Where they meet is in the focus of their flavors, less about fruit than an intense, monumental minerality, a firmness that infuses the wines with a sense of import and saline tang that renders them mouthwatering. Tuck this away next to the 09, and pull them both out in 2020 for a vintage comparison.
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Jaboulet

Paul Jaboulet Aine

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Paul Jaboulet Aine, Hermitage, Rhone, France
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Paul Jaboulet Aîné has been a trend-setting grower and shipper in the Rhône since 1834. The Jaboulet company was founded by Antoine Jaboulet, and his twin sons, Paul and Henri continued to expand the family business. The elder son ("aîné" in French), Paul, established the company in its present form and gave it his own name. Since then, the company has been run by successive generations of sons from that side of the Jaboulet family.

The House of Paul Jaboulet Aîné is one of the Rhône’s most recognizable wineries. The reputation of Jaboulet wines rests on the quality of the well-situated and well-tended vineyards, on low yields, careful vinification, and diligent aging in oak casks. The Jaboulet family prefers carefully integrated oak aging, in which the influence of wood is never allowed to become excessive. Since this is an important point, they have their own cooper who makes and maintains their stock of barrels.

Jaboulet wines symbolize robustness and elegance, essential qualities of great wines. Their crown jewel is their Hermitage "La Chapelle" which Clive Coates states "is one of the great red wines of the world." Thomas Matthews of Wine Spectator has singled out Jaboulet as a producer which "offers reliable wines across the entire range of appellations (in the northern and southern Rhône)."

Hermitage

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One of the smallest and most important Syrah regions of northern Rhone, Hermitage is practically one single south-facing slope of crushed granite, thinly covered with varied, yet well-charted soil types. Many climats (well identified parcels) exist within Hermitage and while some smaller producers make single climat Syrahs, some larger ones blend to make one balanced expression of the appellation.

Though the AC regulations allow the addition of up to 15% white grapes to a red Hermitage, in practice it is usually made from Syrah alone. Winemaking is pretty traditional—or you might say historic—with hot fermentations and aging in older barrels of various sizes. The best wines, characterized by deep, dense and sexy flavors of black fruit, cocoa, licorice and tobacco, have massive textures and a solid 10-20 years aging potential.

The region of Hermitage is totally enclosed; the only place it could go really is to literally fall down its own hill into the city of Tain or the Rhone River. Soil erosion is a problem and terraces exist alongside the hill in order to keep the earth in place. Crozes-Hermitage encloses the region entirely to its north and south.

While Hermitage seems synonymous with some of the best Syrah on the planet, actually about one third of the wine produced here comes from white grapes. The full, lush and robust Marsanne or the less common, but almost more charming, Roussanne create wonderful whites in which the best have great potential for aging, like the reds.

Rhône White Blends

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Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions, proving most successful in Spain, Australia and California. Typically some combination of Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varyiong degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation.

In the Glass

Each variety contibutes something unique and different. Round, textural Grenache blanc gives green apple and white stone fruit flavors; weighty Marsanne adds structure and honeysuckle aromas; russet-colored Roussanne lends intriguing herbal, tea-like notes while Viognier provides a creamy texture and elegant aromatics. The flavor of the final wine will depend on the chosen components of the blend and their respective proportions.

Perfect Pairings

White Rhône blends are quite versatile food pairing wines and can work with light to medium rich meals that might often be matched to red wines. Heavier fish dishes with bold seasoning like grilled swordfish with caper butter or baked, herb-crusted mahi mahi are natural allies for these flavorful wines. Other ideal dishes include roast pork in mustard sauce, poached lobster with beurre blanc, or a rich and savory vegetable quiche. `

Sommelier Secret

In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common in the appellations of St.-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and St-Péray. Condrieu and Château-Grillet can produce single-varietal Viognier only. The Southern Rhône, on the other hand, has much more variety, with many more permitted grapes including the ones named above as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc.

SWS324684_2010 Item# 138016