Jaboulet Aîné, Paul

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Jaboulet Aîné, Paul, important rhône Valley merchant and wine producer, whose most famous wine is Hermitage la Chapelle. The house was founded in the early 19th century by Antoine Jaboulet and takes its name from the older of his twin sons. Jaboulet’s own vineyard holdings in production, which provide between a quarter and a third of the firm’s needs, totalled more than 115 ha/2,85 acres in 2014, in every northern Rhône appellation. Recent acquisitions included additional holdings in Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage, a stake in Condrieu (first vintage 1996), Domaine St-Pierre in Cornas (1994), most of Domaine Raymond Roure in Crozes-Hermitage (1996), Domaine des Pierrelles in Côte Rôtie (2006), and Domaine de Terre Ferme in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (2007). Of the raw materials bought in, from 150 growers the length of the Rhône valley, two-thirds is wine rather than grapes, and in the late 1990s quality was notably variable. The firm was based in its old cellars in Tain l’Hermitage from 1834 until 1984 when a modern winery and warehouse was built in La Roche de Glun just south of the town. Jaboulet sell a range of more than 20 different wines, most of them in the firm’s own deep-punted bottle, and the best are their own special cuvées. Their crozes-hermitage, Domaine de Thalabert, was some of the earliest proof offered to wine drinkers outside France that this appellation could produce serious, age-worthy wine. The firm’s La Chapelle 1961 is an acknowledged classic. The white Hermitage, Chevalier de Stérimberg, demonstrates the late Gérard Jaboulet’s admiration for the roussanne grape. In 2005, after years of under-performance, the company was sold to the Frey family, owners of Ch La Lagune in Bordeaux and investors in Champagne Billecart Salmon.