It was my favourite Californian winemaker (currently based in Nuits…) that introduced me to this producer; I saw he had a few bottles in his cellar and commented that I hadn’t heard of them – quick as a flash Ray thrust a bottle in my hands and told me to give it a try “very good wines at great prices” he said. Of-course I liked the bottle very much so began the process of finding a contact to pay a visit – it took a couple of months, but wasn’t too hard.
The domaine is sited down a very tiny road – almost directly opposite the domaine of David Clark in Morey’s High Street. Today it is the ‘Fils’ that you’re most likely to meet, Philippe; his father Henri is in his 60s now. Philippe took on the domaine in 2004 and is the fourth generation welded to the vines; it was his great grandfather who began buying vines whilst working as a barrel-maker. The domaine owns just three hectares, but father Henri also worked as a metayeur for the firm Alfred Jaquot who in turn sold grapes to Dujac, so they exploit closer to 4.5 hectares. The fifth generation are already interested enough to leave their toy bicycle outside and come and listen during the tasting…
Philippe notes “we don’t make any publicity or things like that, mainly because I have so few bottles to sell.” That is so because for about fifty years they have been direct suppliers to Joseph Drouhin in Beaune, a relationship they are clearly proud of and happy to continue – much of the domaine’s Clos St.Denis goes here.
Vines and winemaking
The domaine has parcels in Chambolle, Morey and Gevrey, crowned by their grand cru Clos St.Denis. There are also three regional wines, two of which – a red and a white – that are named after the two sons from the 5th generation. In the vines they work the soil manually, just like my grand-father and father says Philippe. No herbicides or insecticides are used.
Grapes are 100% destemmed: “If I don’t do that, I’ll get green flavours and that’s not something my clients want.” There is a short cool maceration before fermentation “I never have a warm maceration, if we reach 32-33°C then I will cool back to about 29°C. I have just one racking and aim never to filter or fine – the Bourgogne Chardonnay excepted – I don’t want to lose the aromas in my wines.”
Philippe has a mix of newer and older barrels, coming from François Frères “I like to have a middle way, I certainly don’t want to introduce excessive tannins from my barrels.”
Tasted in Morey, 13th July 2011. Pricing is about half the average I would say, but that’s just another reason why the domaine is always sold out – apart from a few regionals I knew they were already sold-out of 2008s and 2009s so asked Philippe if I was already too late to pre-order some 2010s, he shrugged his shoulders and said that I probably was!
“My labels are quite traditional – I don’t want anything too flash, I think my clients also prefer it this way.” This very much sums-up the domaine. Understated but with an excellent baseline of quality – I just need to work out how I will now buy some wine!
From three parcels. The nose is hiding a little – very understated until it eventually widens a little. Nice intensity and a good matching acidity. It doesn’t shout Chambolle to me, but it is a pretty wine and offers excellent value.
This has a lovely aromatic depth – it’s quite forward – very nice indeed. The texture is slightly cushioned but has a good acid balance. Depth of flavour and plenty of interest here. I have a preference for the 2008 I drank at home, but this is a good wine even before you see the price.
From two parcels in this vineyard; old vines that average almost 70 years. The nose starts rather high-toned though with some depth – slowly it rounds out becoming quite interesting. Mouth-filling and wide – a little harder than the previous wines, but more complex and with aeration more ‘giving’. Depth of flavour and a nice mid-palate burst too – good length. This is very good and not an archetypal ‘easy’ 2009.
Domaine Henri Jouan et Fils
3 Rue Saint Roch
21220 Morey St.Denis
Tel. +33 (0)3 80 34 17 94
Fax. +33 (0)3 80 34 19 42