Robert Parker 93
I reviewed the 2012 Hermitage Chevalier de Sterimberg last year, and it hasn’t budged an inch since that time. Possessing a Burgundian feel in its flinty minerality, white flowers, apple and brioche-scented bouquet, it’s medium to full-bodied, laser focused and has gained a subtle almond paste quality on the finish. Drink it over the coming decade or more. The revamped Jaboulet firm, under the leadership of Caroline Frey, seems to have settled in and are now producing one serious lineup of wines from throughout the Rhone Valley.
Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024
(70% marsanne and 30% roussanne): Light, bright yellow. High-pitched, mineral-accented scents of candied citrus fruits, pear skin and fresh fig, with a suave floral nuance in the background. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering vibrant lemon and pear flavors and an intense spicy quality. Shows Chablis-like vivacity and minerality on the finish, which leaves a spicy, gingery note behind. (I also had the chance to re-visit the 2011 bottling of this wine, which has barely budged since I saw it in November of 2012. All of the estate’s La Chapelle fruit went into the Sterimberg in ’11 and it shows in the wine’s intense mineral, citrus and floral character; it should age slowly and gracefully over at least the next decade. The 2010, which I also tasted this winter, is slowly beginning to unfold but still deserves years of patience thanks to its mineral spine. A hint of floral character is peeking through but drinking it now would be a real shame unless one gave it plenty of decanting time.)