Visited 29th June 2009.
It was quite a while since I lasted visited Jadot – 2003 I think. At that time they were relatively new in their beautiful (on the inside) La Sablière winery (completed 1997) at the periphery of Beaune on the Route du Savigny. When I visited this time, construction of the 4th and final phase of the winery was running at full speed – a 4,000 square metre extension that had been planned since 2001 and that the team hope will be complete in time for the 2009 harvest – I guess that they are hoping it won’t be too early a harvest!
On completion of the extension, there will for the first time, be a separation of the whites and reds, additionally, they will no longer need to rent space in Beaune for large amounts of finished wine. Crucially, the work is more about improving their logistics – the finished wine staying in the enlarged area will be an important part of that. Internally they are also adding a couple of new tasting areas.
My main reason for visiting, was to discuss with the team their Lavaux St.Jacques (which is discussed elsewhere), but it also afforded the opportunity to look at some wines from JA Ferret of Pouilly-Fuissé and to take a tour of some 2008s. The 2008s have finished their malos and, in the main, have lost much of their gas – so I reproduce my notes below for an early ‘view’ for you – across all domaines (so far) we seem to have a great terroir vintage in both colours as there is no homogeneity between cuvées, but lots of minerality from the whites.
Domaine JA Ferret & Louis Jadot
The 17 hectare family domaine of JA Ferret has an even older history than Jadot; it was founded in 1840 and was to be the first domaine bottler of the Mâconnais. The last of the line, the widow Colette Ferret who had run the domaine since 1993 wanted the domaine to continue in ‘good hands’ and so had already begun a relationship with Louis Jadot. She died in 2007 and Louis Jadot acquired the domaine in 2008. From the outset, Jadot wanted to preserve the operation and style of wines produced, so made no changes to the team producing the wines.
I find it’s always difficult to put white wines into an overall quality context when they are are the first things you taste in day, that’s because (in a decent vintage) the sweetness and acidity – assuming there is enough – are mouth-watering and refreshing and quite a lovely way to start your day. Bourgogne blancs for instance, never taste so good as at 9am(!), yet the quality here is very high – clearly they are very expensive for ‘Pouilly’, but I would reserve any value-judgments until tasted side-by-side with equivalently priced wines from the Côtes.
Medium colour. One third vinified in cask, the rest in stainless-steel and blended 2-3 weeks before bottling. Fresh, though not particularly high-toned aromas though just a hint of brioche. In the mouth there’s lovely freshness – it’s ripe but round and well balanced – there’s just a discrete richness. Mouth-watering length – a very nice entry wine.
Medium colour. Fermented and then aged 10-12 months in casks. The nose is clearly more mineral. In the mouth there’s a smooth almost waxy texture – there quite some density and extract here. Just enough acidity to balance and shepherd you into a good finish. Lots of wine here – quite impressive.
Medium colour – also vinified and aged in oak – about 20% new barrels. Lots of minerality on the nose.. In the mouth it’s a lovely, fresh package of richness and minerality – super extract and length. I very much like the style of this.
Louis Jadot’s 2008 Barrels
The second vintage for this domaine wine. Mainly a stainless-steel vinification with some part of barrel ferment. Perfumed with some floral elements. Lots of width and nice focus and freshness. This is really quite pretty – not bad for a ‘palate cleanser’!
The nose seems much more serious and focused. Fresh, more density and minerality, flavours coat the tongue – this is very good.
More apple aromas. Linear and also quite mineral – and extra burst of flavour in the mid-palate.
A wide and fresh nose that majors on green-skinned fruits. More mouth-filling than the previous wines, yet this is no opulent Meursault, rather a balanced and fresh rendition.
Faint reduction on the nose. Bigger and more structured than the Meursault and still with some minerality. A wine that demands attention – impresses.
A wide and mineral nose. The mouth shows a little gas but there’s a clear extra dimension of cut and mineralty – slowly the aromatics mend – very pretty. Will be super.
A strong and very focused nose. In tense yet the fruit is relatively soft textured. Powerful and long yet ripe and balanced. Very fine.
From the ‘Puligny side’ of the vineyard. Aromatically this is not so intense as the Charlemagne (For info Jadot no-longer produce the ‘straight’ Charlemagne) but I find it finer. Another wine that is fresh and intense – not obviously powerful, but it fills every part of your mouth before slowly lingering on the tongue. It’s such a shame that we can’t afford wines like this!
Some faint malo aromas – a little flavour too. That said, it’s fresh and quite well structured with lovely fruit flavours and a note of chocolate – good tannins.
Intense berry notes, but they are not forced – very fine. Really lots of dimension and complexity – lovely balance and really pretty flavours before a little tannic astringency. This has beautiful fruit and is a beauty.
A fine and very pretty nose. Bigger and more structured in the mouth. The structure is very well packaged and there’s a super blueberry fruit dimension. The tannins are grainier than the Rugien’s – but so what(?) A very nice counterpoint to the previous wine.
A shame I had to walk away from a bunch more barrels due to time constraints…(!)