Jaboulet went through a bad patch in the late 90s, 2003 supposedly marks their return to form. This is better than previous vintages for a few years, but it is still obviously a crazy vintage.
Crozes-Hermitage “Domaine de Thalabert” 2003, Paul Jaboulet-Aine
Very dark, almost black. A rich, heady nose of porty fruit. It still has a typical cheap cologne character, which is pleasing. This does smell a bit heroic, though. The palate is very ripe, with a good tannic structure and some acidity. There is a bit of alcohol burn on the finish which tastes quite sweet thanks to this and the very ripe fruit. It is obviously Crozes, though, it has the slightly rustic tannins and chewy fruit. This is really quite good, if a touch whacked-out and crazy. I’d be interested to try the Hermitage La Chapelle 2003 after trying this, but I am told the prices are simply crazy.