Tasted in Charentay with Bernard Jomain, 12 February 2019.
Domaine Bernard Jomain
Lieu-dit La Valette
Tel: +33 6 80 30 96 68
Bernard Jomain was a long-time metayeur of the Château de la Chaize and his father was also worker at Château Thivin – two fine references.
Bernard did three years study in Beaune and still has lots of contacts there. When he finished in Beaune, because he didn’t have a domaine to take over, he worked at multiple domaines after, but in 1990 with 3.6 hectares of vines he chance to do some metayage Chaize. His plan was always to find and plant further parcels. The metayage increased to over 8 hectares, but Bernard, through his contacts at Chaize, managed to buy a well positioned, unplanted, parcel of Brouilly on a steep but well oriented slope – this he planted in 2005. Then some Côte de Brouilly and some chardonnay on a clay soil next to the domaine – both in 2008.
The domaine peaked at 14 hectares “But that was hard work,” says Bernard. So the domaine today covers 7 hectares – 2 of which are with the coop – the rest is worked and commercialized here at the domaine.
From 1992 Bernard says that he was already ‘lutte raisonée,’ “But really I think that respect for the environment is key – I’m in the vines all the time with my dog, so I want it to be a good place!”
In terms of sales it’s mainly salons and individuals who pass the domaine – there have been some occasional sales in Quebec and Belgium, but both are relatively small volume.
Bernard on 2018:
“Super! We had a great charge of grapes right from the flowering. We also had lots of storms and an important volume of rain but then in July and August it was fine and sunny – the one balanced the other. Importantly, despite the talk of climate change, it’s a very Beaujolais vintage – a vintage that will bring pleasure to the vignerons and the drinkers! I like my wines to have a line of flavour and a freshness – I try to make Beaujolais not Côte de Rhône.
“2018 is a vintage that’s somewhere between 1999 and 2000 I think.”
Bernard on 2017:
“2017 brought a lower volume – 30-35% less – but good quality. The ‘losses’ were due to the vines suffering and drying in the heat. So it’s not a great vintage from an economic perspective – even though everyone talks about it – but I prefer to talk of 2018!”
Bernard is a talkative soul, but his wines are worth talking about. There’s a wide range of styles here – including some woody wines that are not my taste. But there are some great wines too – Bernard has a great winemaking touch, and not just with his crus, but with rosé and white too – “I like the precision that’s needed making whites and rosé,” he says. It’s worth your time to find some of these.
2018 Beaujolais Villages Rosé ‘Cuvée du Pêcher’
Vibrant and fresh, a little bubblegum but really a very attractively forward nose. Round, pure – mouth-filling. Simply a great rosé with layers of fine finishing flavour. Complex and pure.
2018 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau ‘Les Racines Retrouvées’
Hmm – a little spice to this dark-fruited width of aroma – this is very attractive and clean. Quite direct, concentrated but with a proper structure. A graphite minerality in the finish. Very good, indeed serious BJVN!
2018 Beaujolais Villages ‘Les Artistes’
With elevage in foudres.
Higher-toned, redder fruit. Fuller, sweeter but with fine energy. Super weight of concentrated flavour in the finish – this is excellent, practically great!
2018 Brouilly ‘Cuvée des Poêtes’
This is destemmed.
A deeper and redder nose but also a tighter nose. Some gas. Hmm – this is about detail more than weight. An elegant and complex wine of freshness. Super and very different.
2018 Côte de Brouilly ‘Cuvée des Heritiers’
A bigger, fuller nose – dark and exciting. A wine of direction and drive, practically a tiny pyrazine note in the complexity, plenty of structure at the base. A nicely put together wine, a lovely long line of mouth-watering flavour. Have patience, but that’s got a lot of potential.
2017 Brouilly ‘Cuvée des Poête’
Still in foudre.
Ooh a deep and dark and impressively interesting nose, though with a touch of oak. Ooh that’s got depth of texture and concentration too – it’s very tasty but a bit oaky.
2017 Brouilly ‘Cuvée des Poête’
The same cuvée but an earlier bottling.
A tighter nose. Colder, fresher – a wine with more drive, more line. This has a good mouth-watering line – no oak – but less delicious than the unbottled
2017 Côte de Brouilly ‘Cuvée des Heritiers’
Bottled last October.
Hmm – not the biggest nose, but a nice width of red fruit. Fresh, a touch of reduction in the flavour though not the nose, some tannin to fade but also a good texture to the fine cherry flavours.
2017 Beaujolais Villages ‘Les Artistes’
Only 30 hl/Ha – grapes/vines that suffered.
Ooh that’s a concentrated line of dark-red fruit. Volume and concentration at the same time – but still fresh too! Only slowly leaching its flavour over the palate – a fine mix of the mineral and a fruit that is only slowly catching up. Almost but not quite monolithic – but also almost but not quite great – give it a little time! But the finish is certainly great for the label!
2017 Brouilly ‘Cuvée Bacchus’
Barrel elevage – barrels of 1 to 8 years of age.
Plenty of colour. Deep, noisette, plenty of oak aroma. Fresh, nice energy, quite open in style – lots of oak flavour – vanilla style. It’s tasty and beautifully architectural in form, but it’s not my style of wine.
2018 Beaujolais Villages Blanc ‘Cuvée des Trèffes’
Hmm – that’s quite nice – a touch of yellow and green fruit with a little sucrosity. A good line – not so wide, mouth-watering, a good intensity, slightly floral finishing. I like this, and for a BJVB I like this a lot.
2017 Beaujolais Villages Blanc ‘Cuvée des Trèffes’
A nicely vibrant fruit – here more ripe and exotic than citrus style. Supple, concentrated, layered wine, but also quite tasty and without an overt rigour – this finishes very well.