Tasted in Romanèche-Thorins with Cyril Chirouze, 03 February 2020.
Château des Jacques
47 Les Jacques
Tel: +33 3 85 35 51 64
Cyril on 2019:
“2019 was complicated to start because it was already dry at the start of the year. March was good and the vines were already pushing – 1st April in Rochgrès, our latest parcels – were already opening their buds – so it’s no surprise we were hit by frost in the days that followed. The frost more in the base of the hills which is the classic spring frost. We had some battles with oïdium, it was a higher pressure than I’ve seen since I came to Beaujolais in 2007. Then we finished the year with hydric stress again. For the moment I find the suppleness of the tannins most impressive, in that respect they remind of 2016. Good balance despite an acidity below 2017 and 2018 – yet they are still flattering. Malos are not all done yet but the profile is coming into focus. Whites 20 hl/ha – frost, reds average 35 – the base of the hills not much more than 15 hl/ha, the areas not frosted over 40 hl/ha. ”
Cyril on 2018:
“2017 was good, but really there wasn’t enough, 2018 will help Beaujolais because it’s also very good but there’s also some volume behind – in 2018 we had some good fortune with 44 hl/ha – my average is 39 here – so 10% higher. Until 10th of June – the change of the moon – it rained almost every day, the bottom of Moulin à Vent had some mildew issues, so because of that we lost a little yield. April was hot until the rain, all the high zone of Moulin à Vent really suffered from the dryness and heat – here I lost about 10% probably – but the average yield is fine. We have good colours from grapes where we started to pick 30 August in Morgon and the bottom of Moulin à Vent – we finished 15 September. Some days had 35°C in the afternoon and a south wind so there was an effect of concentrating the grapes. Tasting the cuvées there’s a bit more acidity than 2015 – many people loved 2015 but it was a little less classic, I think 2018 has the more classic style, the exuberance – in fact, 2018 seems a logical extension of what we had already in 2017 – it could have parallels with 1999 for its balance and energy and 2000 for its depth and fruit…”
Excellent entry wines, but great ‘climat’ wines in 2018 – bravo! Some Beaujolais producers who consider themselves as ‘true Beaujolais’ tend to comment that Jadot produces Côte d’Or, not Beaujolais style wines – but when unpacking what these producers really mean, it’s not so much about the destemming of fruit, it’s rather about the presence of oak. In this respect, the self-proclaimed producers of ‘true Beaujolais’ are well behind the times. The oak-dominated wines of my early visits to this domaine are only a memory now – so well elevaged are these wines.
For the reds, they are only just starting to offer the 2016s here, and they are still mainly selling 2015s. This means that they have a little insulation from the ups and downs of the commercial market. They will see the difference in the next year as the 16s won’t last long, probably neither will the 17s – as there’s not much of either.
All is already bottled – ‘the profile of the vintage hasn’t pushed us to do a longer elevage in 2018.‘ DIAM for the whites.
2018 Beaujolais Blanc Clos de Loyse
Between Crêche and La Chapelle de Guinchay, quite close to the route nationale – there is granite here but it’s two metres down! This all tank elevage. Appellation allows more but still a good volume here in 2018 – 60 hl/ha
Hmm, that has a good drive of citrus aroma. A three-pointed balance of richness, acidity and minerality – this has a nice shape and insistent flavour profile. Rippling with long finishing flavour – this is very tasty.
2018 Bourgogne Blanc Clos de Loyse
Same provenance, the Clos de Loyse has been part of the domaine since at least the 1930s. Allowed fermentation to start in tank, and then a part of the wine elevaged in barrel, only racked before the bottling. ‘It’s not meant to be a competition for Pouilly-Fuissé, it simply shows what chardonnay can bring here in the north of Beaujolais, without any limestone.’
Narrower but deeper nose – almost suggesting a little salinity. Hmm, that’s a more energetic, mineral, more direct and delicious wine. Vibrant and really tasty – without the rich impression of the last wine. Excellent!
Les rouges – first the three assembly wines:
3 origins, 50% of the total from Bellevue
Lots of colour. Hmm, vibrant aroma – a depth of dark cherry. Supple, round, still with a nice energy despite the textural cushion. Dark-fruited but with a certain clarity of fruit and no overt spice component. That’s a slowly mouth-water, graphite mineral finishing flavour – very long. This is excellent.
75% Bel Air, the rest Grille Midi
More depth and width to the aroma here, but also more density – and it’s a little less open and more serious. But more volume and energy in the mouth this time – a touch more tannin – a little more insistent line of flavour. Very impressive – and very, very different.
2018 Moulin à Vent
8 different climats but the largest part comes from Rochegrès
Another higher level of aromatic density – swirling releasing much complexity – that’s very impressive. Wide, a little depth to the texture, a touch of the tannin of the Fleurie – this has elements of each of the previous two – full, a fruit of super persistence, the minerality in second place here, for now. Probably the greatest of these three, but for the clarity of the fruit and that graphite finish – today I’d be drinking the Morgon – the Fleurie needs more time to open.
2018 Moulin à Vent La Roche
From 2 hectares of vines
There’s a weight of aroma – lots of width too – slightly cushioned – but this nose is a little tighter above and below. Ooh, that both feels and tastes beautiful – there’s a certain, almost floral, character to the fruit flavour. Subtly accented with tannin and then strong waves of darkly mineral finishing flavour. An inherent elegance here.
A much more vertical nose – large of dimension in the depths and a floral aspect to the higher tones too. More open, gorgeously mobile over the palate, there is a suggestion of tannin but no grain, more intensity despite the open shape. Wide, almost a vibrancy to the mineral flavour losing amplitude quickly but then holding strong in the finish. Bravo!
Aromatically, the shape is like Carquelin, here with more focus to the bass-notes of the fruit. In the mouth, the open clarity reflects that of the Carquelin too. More intensity and even a little salinity creeps into the complexity here – grand Vin – bravo again!
2018 Moulin à Vent Clos de Rochgrès
That’s an impressive nose – full, round, almost textured by a frame of salinity. Round in the mouth, mouth-watering with flavour. A little saline impression to the tannin here – a fine and vibrant wave of finishing flavour. Excellent.
First time vinified separately, only 0.2 ha or 3 barrels – ‘We’re closer to the rock here, yet the granitic sand seems also richer, the vines look completely different here when it’s very dry’
A vertical nose – deep and high-toned, less wide than some others – A wider style to this aroma. Open and fresh, the clarity of flavour harking back to the style of the Carquelin and the Thorins. Micro-grained tannin. A smaller weight of finishing flavour than those wines but absolutely no less long. This another great wine.
From the top, east-facing with little soil, blended with a lower parcel and with more depth of soil.
A different style of nose that harks back to the first wine – the dark cherry freshness of that Morgon. Here is density but also a clarity – a blend of the previous two styles – super impressive depth of flavour, concentration, here in the middle. A finish of weight and persistence – power even – clearly differentiated from the Moulins. Great finishing – the wine that I would have the most patience with – the Moulins are just so approachable – this is clearly also great!
2018 IGP Syrah des Jacques
IGP – In the sector of Moulin à Vent but obviously not with that label. Just 4 years old and only 9 barrels from 1 hectare. Harvested rather later than the gamays – 3 weeks… ‘For us it’s a curiosity, and it will stay that way.’
Clearly a deeper colour than the gamays. Deep, saline, spiced but also a touch floral. Wider, depth to this texture, rich but well-balanced with the energy of the wine. Depth of flavour, faintly with pepper, almost a little too concentrated – for today anyway – still with an impressive length, though today behind the gamays…