Paul Jaboulet Aine
One of the most legendary producers in the Rhône, this firm was established in 1834 by Antoine Jaboulet, who named it after the elder (aîné) of his twin sons. Louis Jaboulet bought the firm to international prominence from the 1960s, work that was built upon by his son Gérard, a brilliant communicator and bon viveur. A string of great wines was made until the mid 1990s when Gerard’s brother Jacques, who made the wines, suffered a life-changing accident and Gérard died suddenly aged only 55. Without proper direction and leadership, standards fell, until in 2005 Swiss financier Jean-Jacques Frey (also owner of La Lagune) purchased the company and under his daughter, Caroline, it has risen back to the top again. Jaboulet make a full range of Rhône appellations, but the most famous are Hermitage La Chapelle, from 22 hectares spread over the hill and Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert, a wine that has few if any peers in the appellation. They are also significant producers of Côte-Rôtie and Cornas.