Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Maison Bleue 2017
There are 2,000 cases of the 2017 Hermitage La Maison Bleue, which is all from the more limestone and loamy soils on the eastern side of the appellation. Aged in 15% new barrels and demi-muids, it has a youthful, fruit-forward, even sexy profile as well as terrific notes of black raspberries, melted licorice, truffles, violets, and bloody meat. It's young and unevolved, with beautiful depth of fruit, and it's undeniably better than many vintages of La Chapelle from the 1990s and 2000s.
Opaque ruby. Vibrant, sharply focused black/blue fruit aromas are complicated by exotic spice, olive and mineral flourishes. Juicy and precise on the palate, showing energetic lift and thrust to its sweet blueberry, black raspberry, violet pastille and spicecake flavors, which deepen steadily on the back half. Picks up a smoky quality with air and finishes spicy and impressively long. Discreet tannins add shape and gentle grip.