Burgundy, and Nothing But Burgundy.
We recently had the very distinct pleasure of touring the facilities of Louis Jadot. Their new (1996) vinification cellars in Beaune and in Beaujolais, as well as the creation of the CADUS cooperage and the purchase of Château des Jacques in 1996 underline the aim of controlling the quality of their wines at each stage of their elaboration. Louis Jadot also entered into a partnership with a firm of coopers from South-West France to form the Cadus Cooperage, established in Ladoix Serrigny (5 km from Beaune). This ensures improved control over the origin of the wood and the preparation of the barrels. Aging wine in wooden barrels is very important for the balance, aromas and the aging potential of a great wine.
Founded in 1859 by Louis Henry Denis Jadot, Maison Louis Jadot has always been situated in the heart of the vineyards, in the center of Beaune. Recently installed in an old building from the 19th century, the offices are situated above very old cellars from the 14th century connected with the “Couvent des Jacobins” cellars. This “Couvent” is the ideal venue for receiving visitors at Maison Louis Jadot.
To ensure great vintages, Jadot still does things by hand, not by machine. They use only clean grapes grown close to the winery. Although all of the vineyards are not owned by Jadot, all the growers work together to help build a strong reputation for quality burgundy and beaujolais varieties. The 6000 oak casks are used only 4 years, and Jadot controls the toasting of the casks. Typical aging for whites in oak is about 14-18 months, with reds 14-24 months.
Due to the hottest, driest growing season in 500 years, the volume for 2003 is about 40% less than normal. The upside is a smaller, intense grape that should produce an outstanding vintage. In fact it could rival the 1997 vintage, considered one of the best ever.
During our tasting in the cellars of Jadot, we had the opportunity to sample many of the 2002 vintages direct from the casks. Our tastings included several complex white burgundies, including Marsannay, Savigny Guettes, and the outstanding Puligny Montrachet and Chassagne Montrachet. The reds included Pommard Commaraine (very light), Chambolle Musigny (very soft “just like a woman”), and Gevry Chambertin (a “cru plus”).
If burgundies are on your agenda, our opinion is you need to consider some of the amazing range of wines from Louis Jadot. Whites ranging from very light and crisp varieties, to complex, oak intense, robust ones are sure to please. Their impressive range of reds from beaujolais, to light, soft wines, to complex vintages with great aging potential are worthy of anyone’s cellar.