This past Wednesday, In Vino Veritas hosted its first Burgundy tasting of the year, led by Louis Jadot’s General Manager, Dominique Mounier. We began with a horizontal tasting of 2008 Côte de Beaune, and ended with a vertical tasting of Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin.
Background on Louis Jadot …
In 1826, Jadot, a Belgian family, purchased the premier cru estate of Clos des Ursules. The rest as they say was history. Louis Jadot, now a famous and powerful Bourgogne negociant, based in Beaune, was formally founded in 1859 by Louis Henri Denis Jadot. By 1900 Louis Jean Baptiste Jadot took over and began growing the firm, buying Corton-Charlemagne, and Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles. Modern day Louis Jadot was most influenced by the rein of André Gagey from 1962 to 1992. Gagey’s influence was intended to be limited; however, the unexpected death in 1968 of Louis Alain Jadot, eventual heir to the thrown, sealed Gagey’s fate. André Gagey successfully marketed Louis Jadot internationally, making the firm a worldwide quality seal for Bourgogne wines. However, it certainly wasn’t André’s efforts alone that solidified Jadot’s success. Joining the team in 1970, wine maker Jacques Lardière also played a crucial role in maintaining and growing the quality of the firm’s wines. Jacques directs the wine making operations still today. In 1985 Gagey sold to Rudy Kopf, the firm’s US importer, who maintains ownership of Louis Jadot today, although André Gagey’s son Pierre-Henry runs the firm’s operations.
Under Kopf, throughout the 1980s and 1990s Louis Jadot continued to grow its land holdings. Today Louis Jadot owns 154 hectares of vineyards, including 70 hectares in the Côte d’Or, 70 hectares in Beaujolais, and around 15 hectares in Mâconnais. The Côte d’Or holdings, counting 10 grands crus, include Domaine des Héritiers Louis Jadot, Domaine Gagey, Domaine du Duc de Magenta, and Domaine Louis Jadot. In Beaujolais the firm owns Chateau des Jacques, producing both Moulin-à-Vent and Morgon crus. In Mâconnais the firm owns Domaine Ferret in the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation.
Louis Jadot’s negociant wines are very good but the firm is most famous for its domaine wines. In particular the domaine whites, from the Côte de Beaune southern half of the Côte d’Or, are considered world-class whites with concentration, never over-oaked and a distinct and clear expression of terroir. Some of the crus that are most characteristic of top quality Louis Jadot include Puligny-Montrachet, Les Folatières, Corton-Charlemagne, and Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles. In terms of vinification, over the past 20 years, Louis Jadot banished the use of all synthetic products in the vineyard, such as herbicides and fertilizers. All grapes are hand harvested and in the tanks 100% wild yeasts are used for fermentation, with a focus on a long maceration and slow malolactic fermentation, giving the wine as much time as it needs. Furthermore, the firm currently manages 14 hectares of vineyards biodynamically, and is interested in continued development and growth of their biodynamic farming efforts.
Below are some of the winemaker’s comments on the crus tasted today:
“The wines of Puligny Montrachet are generally characterised by greater firmness and depth than those of Meursault, and by greater refinement and delicacy than those of Chassagne. They are characterised by very distinctive aromas : almond, fern, exotic fruit, amber and white flowers. His acidity in the mouth is rather subtle.” (Côte de Beaune, 100% chardonnay)
“Meursault Genevrières is a rich full-bodied wine but not too fat. It is very aromatic when young and keep its strength all through its life. The strength and suppleness of Meursault make these wines ideal partners for food which is both rich and spicy, hot or cold.” (Côte de Beaune, 100% chardonnay)
“Corton Charlemagne is powerful, rich, and minerally with an intense flavour of fruits and flowers and spicy aromas of pepper and cinnamon.” (Côte de Beaune, 100% chardonnay)
“Pouilly Fuissé with emerald gold tones which reflect a wine of finesse and distinction; the tasting is harmonious, fresh, full of flavours with hazelnuts, toasted almonds, grapefruit and lemon aromas.” (Mâconnais, 100% chardonnay)
“Moulin-à-Vent is a full, robust Beaujolais, with a fleshy, almost fat texture and greater longevity than any other Cru of the Beaujolais. The exceptional quality of its structure preserves a fruitiness which becomes mellow with bottle age.” (Beaujolais, 100% gamay)
“Deep color, with a multi-faceted berry and red fruit bouquet, a full, tannic structure and mellow texture carry into a lasting finish. A powerful and very coloured Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru. Sometimes a bit robust when young, because of an heavy soil, it will improved while ageing, getting suavity and tenderness with this liquorice aroma typical from the wines of Gevrey.” (Côte de Nuits, 100% pinot noir)
2008 Louis Jadot Bourgogne Blanc
Tasting Notes: Slightly cloudy, pale yellow in the glass. The nose is crisp with creamy aromas of apple, peach and buttered popcorn. Also crisp in the mouth, very acidic, dry, medium-bodied and a little unbalanced. Lemon flavors are very pronounced. The texture is silky on the mid palate and prickly on the attack and the backend.
2008 Louis Jadot Puligny Montrachet Villages
Tasting Notes: Pale yellow in the glass. A cleaner nose with fresh apple and apple sauce aromas. Unbalanced and dry in the mouth with a strong acidity, a light to medium body and flavors of bitter apple, apple core, and lemon. Not too interesting. 13.5% ABV.
2008 Louis Jadot Meursault Genevrières Premier Cru
Tasting Notes: Clear straw yellow in the glass. Alcohol, apple sauce and white flowers on the nose. Very silky smooth texture, light-bodied, and dry with a crisp acidity, bitterness, and lemon flavors. 13.5% ABV.
2008 Louis Jadot Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru
Tasting Notes: Very cloudy pale yellow in the glass. A tight and subtle note, opening up a little to minerality, crispness, citric notes and light ginger. A bite in the mouth, expressing light tannins and a medium body. There is great juiciness, highlighted by apple and grapefruit flavors. 13.5% ABV.
Price: 75€ @ Wine-searcher.com average price
2006 Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuissé “Domaine Ferret Le Clos Tête de Cru”
Tasting Notes: Clear, brilliant honey hue in the glass. An immediate attack of cheese on the nose that later dissipates and turns into a very interesting richness with aromas of banana, overripe white tropical fleshy fruit, and an overall intriguing and pleasant funk. Much cleaner and dry palate. There are flavors of tropical fruit and white peach with fresh apricot on the finish. At first the nose and the mouth were worlds apart but they eventually reached a pretty decent harmony. The texture is lightly syrupy and mediciney and stewed prunes linger ever so subtley in the distance. 13% ABV.
2006 Louis Jadot Moulin-à-Vents “Château des Jacques”
Tasting Notes: Violet in the glass. Cherry, loam, leather and violets on the nose. This wine is dry and acidic with medium tannins, a light to medium body and a rough texture, accompanied by flavors of cranberry and blueberry. 13% ABV.
Rating: 12/20 (WS 88)
Price: 18€ @ Snooth
2007 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru “Clos Saint-Jacques”
Tasting Notes: Purple in the glass. Sour cherry, sweet and creamy nose with hints of loam and an even more subtle suggestion of wintergreen. Medium-bodied in the mouth with a nice acidic balance. Fruit forward with flavors of sour cherry and strawberry. 13.5% ABV.
Price: 62€ @ Wine-searcher.com average price
2006 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru “Clos Saint-Jacques”
Tasting Notes: Ruby red in the glass. Minerality on the nose with aromas of wet rock, sour cherry and potpourri. Medium tannins, dry and nice acidity in the mouth with overall fruitiness, highlighted by cherry flavors and citrus notes. 13.5% ABV.
Rating: 15/20 (WS 93)
Price: 91€ @ Wine-searcher.com average price
1999 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru “Clos Saint-Jacques”
Tasting Notes: Brick red in the glass. Bacon, foie gras, mineral and wet earth aromas. This wine is bitter with rubber band in the mouth and some cherry notes attempting, albeit unsuccessfully, to balance things out. An example of a wine that aged poorly. Disjointed. 13.5% ABV.
Rating: 12/20 (85 WS)
Price: 71€ @ Wine-searcher.com average price
1990 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru “Clos Saint-Jacques”
Tasting Notes: Mahogany in the glass with clear signs of ageing. Wet rocks and meat on the nose, followed by aromas of flowers and cedar. Medium tannins and smooth in the mouth with cherry and berry flavors. 13.5% ABV.
Rating: 14/20 (WS 90)
Price: 134€ @ Wine-searcher.com average price