Calgary Wine Life: Paul Jaboulet Aine Tasting with Adrien Laurent @ Calgary Petroleum Club, Part I

29 04 2018

By Raymond Lamontagne

Not a bad way to dust off my blogging chops after a lull. A chance to taste a 100-point wine? Sure thing. The fact that said 100-point wine happens to be the 2015 Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle causes my already surging excitement to soar into the stratosphere. Although I am not personally enamoured with the Parker-style point system nor its myriad effects on winemaking and consumer preferences, such a feat STILL means something even to this skeptic. I am truly happy for winemaker Caroline Frey. My sincere congratulations! This was a generous enough spread of wines that two posts are in order. I shall try to do the first set of these marvels justice here, stricken as I have been (by Bacchus himself?) with some sort of virulent bug that makes my bones feel like rheumy old birch twigs stashed away in a mausoleum. And I was hoping to sip something while writing this … Discretion is probably the better part of valour.

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We were greeted with some entry level Jaboulet Parallel 45 Cotes du Rhone bottles … A red, a white, and a rose … I sampled them all, of course. 😉

Our host Adrien Laurent felt like a kindred spirit, keeping things scholarly while occasionally flashing an understated charisma or busting out some hilarious off-colour jokes about the French distaste for monarchies (you had to be there). This tasting featured not just the one legendary new release but THREE Hermitage selections, plus an additional spread of whites and reds in what turned out to be a guided tour of nearly the entire Northern Rhone, through the lens of a single producer. How utterly marvellous. I shall cover them all, after first providing some background on the region and this historic producer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Domaines Paul Jaboulet Ainé: The Next Level

5 08 2016

[These bottles were provided as samples for review purposes.]

I recently tasted and discussed the entry-level Parallele 45 lineup from the Rhone Valley’s Domaines Paul Jaboulet Aine, which showcased the red, white and pink sides of the Southern Rhone in an impressive value-priced package.  Today we kick it up a notch.

FullSizeRenderJaboulet’s Alberta portfolio is supplemented by a quartet of upper-echelon bottles from a group of distinctive quality regions scattered across the Rhone, each of which has its own character and legend to live up to, and each of which, I’m happy to report, Jaboulet and winemaker Caroline Frey reflect to a tee in these beautiful offerings.  See my prior post for more details about this historic winery and its renaissance in our market; for now, we have a lot of wine to drink.

Read the rest of this entry »





Wine Review: 2009 Jeannine Boutin Crozes-Hermitage “Les Hauts Granites”

22 08 2011

Just ignore the Baby Rainforest Bouncer in the background.

After pounding out 1500+ words about five German Rieslings in my last post, I’m going to try to be a little (OK, a lot) more concise tonight.  While Riesling has always been my favourite white grape, my current favourite red has got to be Syrah, a full-bodied, powerful grape capable of many different expressions and often melding fruity and savoury notes in a way that no other varietal can.  Most of the Syrahs that have found their way onto PnP so far have been New World examples, mainly from Washington State or California with the occasional Aussie Shiraz (same grape, different name) thrown in.  Tonight, however, I’m going back to the grape’s roots in the northern Rhone Valley in France, Syrah’s ancestral homeland and (maybe moreso 20 years ago than now, but still) home to its most famous and expensive bottlings.  Some of the most lauded and pricy Syrah in the world is grown in a small appellation called Hermitage, a single hill hovering over the Rhone River containing barely over 300 acres of vines.  If I worked five of my current jobs, I could drink Hermitage every now and then.  Instead, I’m settling for its little brother, Crozes-Hermitage, a much larger region spanning the flatlands surrounding Hermitage Hill on the Rhone’s east bank.  A Crozes may not light your world on fire like an Hermitage can, but it won’t cost you $400 either…this one was a shade over $30. Read the rest of this entry »








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