2017 Paul Jaboulet Hermitage Blanc Le Chevalier de Sterimberg

Year: 2017
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 94-97
Vinous Media: 93
James Suckling: 94
Jeb Dunnuck: 94
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :

"Jaboulet's 2017 Hermitage Blanc Le Chevalier de Sterimberg is approximately two-thirds Marsanne and one-third Roussanne. Subtle notes of crushed stone and pencil shavings frame honey, pineapple and baking spices, all wrapped around a tensile core of tangerine and lime. In a year when no La Chapelle Blanc is being made, this is the top white Hermitage from Jaboulet, and it's a beauty, with a silky texture and a long, mouthwatering finish.

The charming Caroline Frey was all smiles during my visit to the Jaboulet tasting room on the main square in Tain l'Hermitage. Her Burgundy vintage was complete and very promising. And even though severe hail damage at Château La Lagune in Bordeaux resulted in no grapes being harvested there this year, it meant she could focus all her energy on the 2018s in the Rhône. We started off with the 2016s. "Hopefully, we will still have years like this," she said. "It's a vintage with more length. I like it!" There's no doubt the 2016s are successful here, but in many instances the 2017s look even better. "I'm always a little afraid of hot vintages," she said. "But I find a balance in this one." The proof is in the pudding: Some of the 2017s are the best I've ever tasted at this address." (WA)

"Limpid yellow-gold. Mineral-accented aromas of dried pear, lemon pith, succulent herbs and honey are given spicy lift by a gingery nuance. Chewy and sharply focused on the palate, offering densely packed orchard and pit fruit flavors and hints of chamomile and anise. The mineral note comes back strong on an impressively long, penetrating finish that shows fine definition and solid thrust." (VM)

"This is two-thirds marsanne and one-third roussanne and it sees some demi-muid elevage. Very fresh, peach and pear aromas with a focused, ripe and juicy palate that wields glycerol and smooth fruit flesh. Long finish with pears, white peaches and melon. Very even. Drink or hold." (JS)

"Brought up just like the Crozes Hermitage Blanc, the 2017 Hermitage Chevalier De Sterimberg Blanc is a slightly more Marsanne-dominated effort that offers more minerality and well as reserved notes of spice citrus, crushed rocks, and hints of tangerine. Ultra-pure, seamless, and silky on the palate, it has a beautiful mid-palate as well as a great finish. Purity, freshness, and focus are the buzzwords here.

The big news at this benchmark estate is the loss of winemaker Jacques Desvernois to Domaine Guigal. At the time of my tasting with Caroline Frey, there was no replacement, so it will be interesting to see who comes on board. They will certainly have big shoes to fill. Nevertheless, the estate has been on an incredible roll, with their sensational 2015s last year, and now two strong vintages with their 2016s and 2017s." (JD)

Winery Notes:
Product Description:
For nearly two hundred years, the hillsides of Hermitage have jealously guarded the secret of a meeting that was to be the start of an extraordinary story… In 1834, Antoine Jaboulet (1807-1864) started working the land in this region thereby linking his destiny with that of this fertile terroir. By dint of hard work and passion, his vines were to provide him with a wine of exceptional quality, to be perpetuated by his sons, Paul and Henri. It was Paul who then gave his name to the business. Since then, the generations have continued to succeed one another.

The Frey family, longstanding winemakers in Champagne and owners of Château La Lagune in Bordeaux, acquired Maison Paul Jaboulet Aîné in January 2006, thus adding to its portfolio of prestigious names. Frédéric Jaboulet shares the Frey family’s passion for excellence.

During the 13th century, the Knight Gaspard de Sterimberg made it his home on his return from the Crusades. This cuvée pays tribute to the Knight, harmed during the Crusades in 1224.

70% Marsanne, 30% Roussanne, mainly from La Croix, Rocoules, Maison Blanche vineyards. The oldest Marsanne vines date to the 1900s, boasting soils that range from Clay-limestone to sand-rocky soil on steep slopes.