It’s not every day you get to attend a vertical wine tasting of one of the worlds great Rhone producers. I had that opportunity last week at the offices of my supplier, Skurnik Wines, to taste the wines from the famed estate of Paul Jaboulet Aine. The room was filled with colleaugues of mine, from the great sommeliers of Manhattan to select retailers from across the tri-state. There were twenty-four wines ready for us to taste and Jaboulet owner, Caroline Frey, was there to guide us though them. We started with six vintages of the Hermitage Blanc Chevalier de Sterimberg. These were absolutley stunning, expressing the beuatiful nuances of Marsanne and Rousanne. In the next flight of six, we enjoyed the Crozes Hermitage Thalabert with its sensual and powerful, provencal Syrah. These were easy to love! Now that we were warmed up, the next twelve wines were the pièce de résistance of wine, the famed Hermitage La Chapelle back to vintage 1985. Wow, wow, wow! The examples were perfection, highlighting the tradition of the old world with the movement of modern winemaking! The last time I had the opportunity to taste this many Jaboulet wines, was back in the spring of 1997 when I tasted at the estate with the late, great Gerard Jaboulet. This was a fantastic tasting in NYC and I was glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of it. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it!