Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert 2012
Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert 2012, has been a part of the Rhône Valley wine industry for almost two centuries, beginning with a small plot of land on the hills of Hermitage, before expanding throughout the region. Today, it encompasses more than 100 hectares (250 acres) of vineyards making wines from the northern and southern Rhône, including Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Condrieu and Cornas.
In 1834, Antonie Jaboulet began working the hills of Hermitage, growing and cultivating the vines that would lay the framework for future generations. On his death, the estate was passed to his sons Henri and Paul, the latter eventually giving his name to wines and the company. The maison was passed through the Jaboulet family until the purchase by the Frey family in 2006.
The Paul Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle is the estate’s flagship wine and is one of the most sought-after wines from the Rhône, reaching high prices at auction. It is named for a 13th Century church built atop Hermitage (see image), which became the property of the company in 1919. Crozes-Hermitage is an appellation of the northern Rhône valley in France. It covers a relatively large area on the eastern bank of the river, to the north and south of Tain L’Hermitage town. It is much larger than the prestigious Hermitage appellation which it surrounds, both in area and in terms of production volume.
Around 7.5 million liters of wine are produced and sold under the Crozes-Hermitage title each year. This is more than the other seven northern Rhône appellations combined. There are 1,768 hectares of vines currently recorded for the appellation (4,368 acres). The vast majority (around 90 percent) of Crozes-Hermitage wines are red, and made predominantly from Syrah. The remaining 10 percent are white Crozes-Hermitage Blanc wines made from Roussanne and Marsanne. These two white wine varieties are also used to a limited extent in many of the red wines. There is a similar approach with Syrah and Viognier in Côte Rôtie.
In general the wines have plenty of bright fruit aromas but comparitively less structure and complexity than Hermitage. The prices that Crozes-Hermitage commands limit the usage of costly barrels to enhance those aspects.