Profile: Hoffmann-Jayer


2018 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Blanc Alexandre Vernet, 2019Tasted with Alexandre Vernet, 26 November 2019.

Domaine Hoffmann-Jayer
1 rue du Meix Grenot
21700 Magny-les-Villers
Tel: + 33 3 80 62 91 79

The estate of Jayer-Gilles was sold to new (Swiss) owners in 2017 – in 2018 the previous owner Gilles Jayer died. Here is my first visit to this estate.

Domaine Jayer-Gilles grew from the Jayer family of Vosne-Romanée, and was established by Robert Jayer. Robert was the grandson of Henri Jayer’s uncle Adolphe.

The domaine was established by Robert and his wife Paulette in Magny-les-Villers and began as a mixed farm, only in 1970 did they start to concentrate on vines and build their cuverie. In 1998, Gilles Jayer, who had been working at the domaine since 1982, took over. The domaine is in Magny-lès-Villers, sitting above and between Beaune and Nuits-Saint-Georges, practically on the border of the appellations Hautes Côtes de Nuits and Hautes Côtes de Beaune. The domaine extends over 11 hectares and it is Alexandre Vernet, at the domaine since 2017, who is responsible for their production. The major part of the domaine’s vines are in the Hautes Côtes, But there is both Hautes Côtes de Beaune and Hautes Côtes de Nuits.

Alexandre on 2019:
2019 had lots of tiny grapes, so not much juice. So here we have minus 50% volume for whites, also minus thirty to forty for the reds.

Alexandre on 2018:
In 2016 we a lot of frost losses. In 2017 the vines had that in their memory and had a good yield. 2018 was more concentrated and richer – for keeping longer I think. I’m using lots of 350-litre barrels here, whilst also trailing jars for our aligoté and a Passetoutegrains this year. Maybe the 2018 pinots are a little less traditional!

There is still some pre-fermentation cooling done here – but not like before – Alexandre uses practically no sulfur during his elevage. The elevage “is the same for all, if I decide to do two pigeage for the Echézeaux, I’ll do the same for the Hautes Côtes too – so you see the terroir differences.” It’s all natural cork that’s used here, “I like the natural things!

Distribution of these wines has been complicated – they have not always been easy to find. Prior to the new ownership, 80% was export and most of that to Asia. I have the impression that the domaine would like to ‘equalise’ those sales a little more so that the wines are easier to find.

The wines…

Gille worked as his parents had, in an Accad-style with a big dose of sulfur cool before with 100% new oak. It is very different today. Before you needed to wait 20 years for your reds and they still tasted a little oaky – today you have clarity and energy but are not facile – this is a great address.

The first two wines tasted from tank:

2018 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc
Racked before harvest then gets 6 months in tank. 1 ha of this, 1.2. of the HCDN blanc
Hmm, that’s a nice nose, wide and fresh. Ooh, thats lovely, with an open citrus complexity. Long, this is excellent – modestly and certainly not distractingly oaked. Excellent.

2018 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Blanc
Steeper and more limestone here, but elevage exactly as the previous wine.
A little more pungent depth of citrus notes. Wider, more depth, more complexity of grapefruit, more richness of finishing flavour – bravo!
2018 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
1 ha here. Two late-ripening parcels between Magny and Pernand
Hmm, bright, forward fruit of ripe freshness. Textured, layered, not too ripe. I love the fresh fruit here – bravo entry wine with lovely fresh concentration in the finish.

2018 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits
1.8 hectares, 300 metres from the domaine, split into three long parcels, richer soil in one part, less soil in another, bottom middle and top – assemble the three for the elevage.
Lots of colour. Vibrantly ripe but with super energy. A strong core and lovely texture. The more concentrated and ripe but with super mouth-watering flavour. Long. Very nice with a chalky style to the finish.

2018 Côte de Nuits Villages
From Corgoloin, 1.3 ha of vines about 2km away from Magny.
Big, wide, partly floral nose. Lovely freshness, floral fruit, this becoming layered and complex in the middle and finishing flavours. A more structural shape, but not overtly structural. Long, chalky and persistent.

2018 Nuits St.Georges Hautes Poirets
One of two proprietors here.
Hmm, wider fresher, again floral nose. Ooh, love the drive and mineral style, this is super. Narrow, direct, driving – bravo – the lasting flavour with a fine velvet style. So Long…

2018 Nuits St.Georges 1er Damodes
Bottom of the hill, next to Vosne villages Damaudes, 0.1 ha usually enough for two barrels.
Ooh, that’s a deep nose, ripe but fresh too. Bubbling, wider than the last, supple concentration, lots of ripe fruit, with almost a coffee accent. Mouth-watering but with a certain finishing strength. Great finishing!

2018 Echézeaux du Dessus
O.54 hectares that in the 1960s was part of DRC.
Lots of colour. Less weight of aroma but with very fine purity and focus – a super inviting nose. A growing, fresh volume of flavour, very small notes of complexity, but so many of them. This really has finesse but then a broad, long, finishing wave of flavour. Ooh, thats so long – excellent wine.

Some 2017s?

2017 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Blanc
Bottled May to July – for all the 2017 cuvées
A punchy nose of energetically fresh pineapple. Nice width and energy, a growing incessant intensity. Sweet and layered finishing with a fine and sweet length. Wait 12 month I think.

2017 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
A big nose, slightly reductive, some oak spice. Good shape, freshness, I love this energy, a wine that’s practically chewy finishing. Excellent

2017 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits
Finer, more direct, no overt oak, adding floral references too. Freshness and energy, little layers of fine flavour. Absolutely delicious! A little finishing dryness that suggests a small amount of patience – if you must.

2017 Nuits St.Georges Hautes Poirets
Big vibrant and perfumed. Line, energy, growing in width in the middle. Vibrant in the finish too – love! Bravo! This is a great villages cuvée

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