Start the New Year and new decade with the newest vintage of an old favorite, the red 2007 Jaboulet Cotes du Rhone Parallele 45.

Jaboulet is one of the most respected names in the wine world. Founded in 1834, the Jaboulet family produced first-class wines for more than two centuries in France’s Rhone Valley. Four years ago this month, the vineyards and winery were sold to the Frey family, owners of Bordeaux’s popular Chateau La Lagune and partners at Brillecart-Salmon, one of my favorite champagnes.

The Parallele 45 wine is named for the latitudinal line just over a mile from Jaboulet’s cellars. First made in the 1950s, Parallele 45 is one of the best good-value everyday wines in America. Jaboulet produces a red, white and rose’ labeled Parallele 45, and all have the Cotes du Rhone appellation.

The red is made from a blend of grenache and syrah, the two main red wine grapes of the region, and while the mix varies by vintage, grenache always makes up the majority.


Caroline Frey, family member and winemaker at Chateau La Lagune, collaborates with Jacques Desvernois, Jaboulet’s winemaker, to produce Parallele 45.

Made in stainless steel tanks and without oak aging, the wine has a polished black cherry color and a delightful herbal and blackberry aroma. The first sip gives instant pleasure of ripe blackberry and cherry flavors gliding across the palate with soft tannins. I enjoyed my second sip and more with a sauteed buffalo steak and spinach steamed in olive oil. The medium body and ripe black fruit flavors will make this a good partner with roasted duck, braised beef, or the quintessential bistro dish: leg of lamb and roasted potatoes.

The 2007 vintage was not easy, as it rained too often in the summer, but a sunny fall gave the grapes a chance to develop. Jaboulet’s Parallele 45 shows that talented winemakers can make good wine in a challenging year. And while Mother Nature made this vintage difficult, Jaboulet’s pricing makes buying it easy.

The Jaboulet 2007 Parallele 45 Cotes du Rhone retails for approximately $10.