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Louis Jadot 1999

by Tom Cannavan, 03/01

Louis Jadot brought a huge portfolio of 1999 Burgundies to London for a trade tasting event. 1999 is seen as a very good vintage across the board in Burgundy, though volumes are also high (this is the biggest ever white productions in Burgundy's history). Naturally, high-yielding vintages lead to suspicions of dilute wines, but in most top estates this need not be a problem. Jadot increased the number of passes through the vineyards to thin the crop and practised severe sorting and selection of grapes at the winery.

Spring and early Summer was more humid and hotter than average, leading to abundant flowering and setting of the fruit on the vines. The summer was cool, but dry before a fine period of weather between mid August and harvest (15th - 28th September) allowed picking in optimum conditions.

Some of these are négociant wines, but Jadot have huge vineyard holdings too and many are from wines of their own extensive estates. I found the wines to be excellent overall; the whites showing lovely balance and finesse; forward with good ripeness, but also plenty of acidity. The reds were perhaps a little more uneven as a group, but all of the wines were good to very good and several were exceptional.

At lower levels, I thought the white St-Aubin 1er Cru sur Gamay was gorgeous, with a generosity of fruit married to crunchy acidity. You could buy a case of the St-Aubin for the price a single bottle of the Montrachet (about £140 if you can find it), but the latter is a thrilling wine of enormous complexity. The Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières was a perfect example of fine, complex, delicious yet intriguing white Burgundy. In the reds, the Moulin-à-Vents of Jadot's Château des Jacques Beaujolais estate were real eye-openers with stunning depth, whilst the Beaune 1ers Crus were sweet, deep and delicious. Of the red Grands Crus, the Chambertin and Bonnes Mares perhaps impressed most. These are wines with moderate keeping potential below Grand Cru level, with the whites in particular already quite delicious.


The tasting was not blind. Prices are per case, wholesale from France. Duty, tax and shipping must be added to these prices and several of the top wines are already sold out.

white

Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Sur Gamay - 1,150ff
Very nice nose. Lightly toasty notes, and quite rich with peach fruit. Quite a generous palate with lots of succulence, just hints of butterscotch and fine citrus acidity. Really lovely wine. Very good.

Santenay Clos de Malte - 975ff
Lightly toffeed nose. Rich fruity aromas. On the palate quite firmly-styled with again a steeliness of mineral acidity at the core of lemony fruit. Good.

Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru Clos-des-Guettes - 1,150ff
Much more minerality here. Fruit is of green apples with little acid-drop notes. On the palate lots of steely acidity and crisp orchard fruits. A really crisp style. Good.

Beaune 1er Cru Grèves 'Le Clos Blanc' - 2,150ff
Very ripe, almost cabbagey aromas. A toffee/pecan nut overlay. Notes too of almond and marzipan. The palate is quite rich, medium-bodied but creamy textured. plenty of length to the fruit and a finish showing plenty of spice but good balance. Very good.

Chablis Grand Cru Preuses - 2,190ff
Bright with good fruit: orchard fruits and glimpses of floral sweetness, but breadth and spice from some oak and a gently nutty underpinning. Very firm and steely palate with a crunching lemon fruitiness, a hint of nettles and a mineral core. Very nicely structured wine. Needs time. Very good.

Chablis Grand Cru Grenouilles - 2,190ff
Firm, minerally, stony notes on the nose. Very clean, with lemon and lime fruit and a background of creamy, slightly hazelnutty oak fleshes out the nose. In the mouth quite expansive acidity, and gentle nutty character to citrus fruit. Pure and long, this is a quite mellow and approachable. Very good.

Meursault-Charmes 1er Cru - 2,370ff
Very rich, succulent nose. Quite lush, with tropical fruit nuances, some gentle toastiness and good fruit. Crunchy, ripe pear and juicy white peach fruit. Really buttery, with medium to full body and a long, creamy, gently spicy finish. Very good.

Meursault-Blagny 1er Cru - 2,260ff
Toasted nuts and subtle vanilla on the nose with some ripe, nutty, subtly vegetal fruit. Peachy notes dominate the medium to full bodied palate, but there's a distinct spiced-apple character too. Very good acidity adds clarity and counteracts a toffee sweetness in the finish. Lovely stuff. Very good.

Meursault-Genevrières 1er Cru - 2,600ff
High toast coffee and hazelnut nose, notes of baked apple pie and a nice firm background of steely mineral and gravel. Gorgeous weight of fruit on the palate, silky and mouthfilling with peach and nectarine fruit, a note of orange, all constrained by good acidity and lots of spice. Very concentrated, savoury and very good indeed.

Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Grand Montagne - 2,260ff
Distinctively tight, focused and chalky, mineral aromas. Little notes of honey and acacia, but crisp. Lovely mouthful of apple and pear fruit, succulent melon. Quite long, nice background of baked apple and plenty of depth. Good balance and long finish. Very good.

Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot - 2,375ff
More subdued and tight at this stage. Lightly buttery, with plenty of greengage and plum fruit, quite rich and deep. The toasty oak shows up more on the palate; a little raw at present, but there is lovely fruit quality here and terrific structure. Very long, sweet fruit and keen acidity. Excellent.

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Gain - 2,260ff
Butterscotch on the nose and a firm, pure, ripe fruitiness. Quite tropical with hints of pineapple and citrus. Fine, elegant, if a little lean personality on the palate. Lovely fruit quality though, an almost glace fruit quality, caramel nuances and good length. Very good.

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Garenne - 2,600ff
Very fine, elegant white peach and apricot kernel nose. Good fruit and a full palate of luscious peach and melon. Very good concentration and balance. The finish stays quite clean and driven along by citrussy fruit and acidity. Very good.

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières - 2,600ff
Delicately herbaceous nose with leafy hints of greengage and summer flowers. Very delicate nuances of almond. Weighty fruit on the palate, good mandarin orange brightness; a sweet yet sharp profile. More lusciousness of ripe nectarine emerges broadening the beautifully full yet balanced finish. Excellent.

Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru - 3,900ff
Quite restrained. Gentle herbaceousness. Small notes of minerals, lemon and raspberry. A nuttiness emerges and just a suggestion of honey. On the palate it is quite full and very generously styled with masses of ripe, crunchy fruit and a framework of acidity with real grapefruity grip on the finish. Structured and fine. Very good.

Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru - 7,700ff
Much more stuffing about the nose, high toast ground coffee oak dominates at present but there's a deep seam of fruit. Coffee and hazelnut richness. Palate is already better integrated than the nose suggests with a seductive weight of buttery, rich peach fruit and exotic nuances of pineapple and mango. Lovely balance again, extremely long finish. Very good indeed with great potential.

Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 'Les Demoiselles'- 8,500ff
Again this shows lots of toastiness on the nose, with coffee, sesame seed and nutty aromas, but there's a honeyed, mellow richness of fruit too. The palate is taut and crystalline, with full body, but a superbly rich yet pure, well-defined set of white fruit flavours. This has fine concentration, purity and great length. A 10 year wine for sure and excellent.

Montrachet Grand Cru - 10,000ff
Tight, compact, but somehow muscular nose, hinting at power. Delicate, creamy oak frames white fruit: pear, melon, hints of richer toasty, nutty character. Wax too, with butter and richness yet a sheen of something racy and taut at the core. On the palate this is already sublime, with thrilling balance of buttery, butterscotchy white fruit and a great core of minerality and lingering subtle toastiness. This is fabulously complex and long. Superb.

red

Château des Jacques Clos de Rochegrès Moulin-à-Vent - 825ff
Fine sweetness of fruit on the nose with plenty of smoky oak. There is a terrific ripeness of fruit on the palate, lovely berry and raspberry flavours, but good structure through fine tannins and acidity. Long. Very good indeed.

Château des Jacques Clos du Grand Carquelin Moulin-à-Vent - 825ff
Even more toasty oak dominates the nose, but this is filled with fantastically spicy, rich berry fruit with an earthy complexity. Chewy and structured, this is long and finishes with stylish balance. Very good indeed.

Pernand-Vergelesses 'Clos de la Croix de Pierre' - 905ff
Creamy summer berry fruits wrapped in a toasty oak framework. Some earthiness and soft, sweet black fruits. A pleasant mouthful of soft strawberry and gentle charcoal flavours. Some tannic grip and decent acidity. Good.

Santenay Clos de Malte - 900ff
Tight and refined nose of raspberry, a little forest-floor, damp undergrowth note, but mostly clean and cool fruit. Quite firm tannins dry the finish, but stylish and should benefit from a couple of years in bottle.

Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru La Dominode - 980ff
Quite a gravelly, schisty nose with plenty of mineral quality and crunchy fruit, a little cool earthiness. Some toasty oak shows up more on the palate, with good red berry fruit. Good.

Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Clos-des-Guettes - 980ff
Again a fine suggestion of minerality and slate about the nose; charcoal aromas, coffee and ripe, sweet berries. Lots of crunchy ripeness on the palate which is quite full. This has plenty of stuffing with rich, dense, berry fruit, but juicy acidity and a background of fine tannins. Good/very good.

Beaune 1er Cru Cent Vignes - 1,150ff
This has lovely sweetness on the nose that is earthy and rich with vanillin oak, but also compact, creamy raspberry fruit and a lightly smoky note. Palate disappoints slightly at present; the palate is dominated by very big tannins, though these are quite ripe. Acidity is quite high too. This is showing a little awkwardly, but the nose is promising. Good.

Beaune 1er Cru Theurons - 1,175ff
Nice integration of youthful components on the nose here with masses of creamy berry fruit and mellow oak. Quite fudge-like and rich. Plate has lovely liquorice-tinged raspberry fruit that fills the mouth. Fine depth with plummy undertones and good balance into a long, spicy finish. Very good.

Beaune 1er Cru Boucherottes - 1,175ff
There is a delicate, perfumed cherry and sweet briary quality about the nose of this, with light coffee fudge oak, but bright and luscious fruit. The palate is lovely, filled with expansive sweet fruit and bolstered by silky tannins and a subtle but strengthening core of acidity. Very pure and savoury, lots of concentrated fruit. Very good/excellent.

Beaune 1er Cru Clos-des-Ursules - 1,560ff
Gorgeous deep, creamy, lush over-ripe berry fruit with sweet oak and lots of warming, earthy undertones. On the palate it has good weight in a medium to full-bodied format and wonderful length. Pure fruity flavours pushing into a concentrated finish where spiciness emerges and some tannins grip. Excellent.

Volnay 1er Cru Clos de la Barre - 1,515ff
Extremely gravelly nose, hints of sulphur, but fine fruit emerges. This is structured and grippy, with a ground coffee bittersweet core. A powerful style, but seems to have good balance. Might need time, or just slightly out of condition?

Pommard 1er Cru Epenots - 1,835ff
Lots of creamy vanillin oak giving mellow breadth to ripe fruit. Lots of power and grip on the palate. A robust, earthy style that is rich and meaty, with spicy tannins and concentrated fruit. Structured and powerful, good length of finish. Very good.

Vosne-Romaneé - 1,510ff
Smooth berry fruit on the nose. A framework of charry oak adds lots of spice and drama. The palate has backbone but plenty of ripe, concentrated fruit. Tannins and acidity give it a lot of strength, but the tannins are smooth and silky and whilst a little one-dimensional, it is a big, velvety mouthful of wine with spice in the finish. Good.

Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Clos des Ormes - 1,510ff
Nice mineral hints against firm, elegant black cherry fruit and just glimpses of floral, violet notes. Palate has a firm liquorice edge to sweet fruit and a little dark, almost chocolaty note. Powerful ripe tannins and good acidity lengthen the finish and give lovely balance. Very good/excellent.

Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Boudots - 2,000ff
Very fresh, ripe, sweet, up-front fruit. Crisp raspberry and silky strawberry aromas. Creamy. The palate has lovely sweetness of fruit too, but there's a sturdy framework of oaky tannins that support and decent acidity. Long, creamy, smooth finish with lots of richness and weight. Perhaps lacking a touch of complexity, but just delicious and very good.

Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Chaines Carteaux - 1,810ff
Nice suggestion of the land here, with a stony, mineral and salt quality on the nose, There's a light nuttiness and plenty of creamy fruit. On the palate it is really quite firm with big drying tannins and a bittersweet quality of cherry and damson skin fruit. Dark and really quite savoury. Good.

Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Fuees - 2,195ff
Really pretty sweet, ripe, bright raspberry, pepper and confectionary fruit. Very svelte, very silky. Palate is finely-honed with delicate, pure, fragrant fruit. This has lighter appeal with good balance and finesse. Though it lacks a little of the oomph of preceding wines, it has poise and class. Good/very good.

Vosne-Romaneé 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts - 2,445ff
Minerals, charcoal and black fruits on the nose, briar wood and toasted oak. The palate is silky with fine bitter cherry fruit. Quite elegant, this has smooth tannins and good acidity giving fine balance. Long too, and needs time. Very good.

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos Saint-Jacques - 3,035ff
Coffee-bean oak aromas, burnt toast and spices. Firm, elegant raspberry and softer strawberry fruit. Good impression on the palate; very concentrated and quite grippy. There is fine structure and a mineral core. Quite vigorous and powerful. Good length and should develop well. Very good indeed.

Corton-Pougets Grand Cru - 2,330ff
Fine nose. Bright, focused quality of fruit; zippy red cherries and berries wrapped in coffee oak. On the palate, lipsmacking acidity and fine tannins. Maybe just not enough fruit here? The lemony acidity rather pierces through the finish, but again could improve. Good.

Echézeaux Grand Cru - 3,415ff
Alluring, creamy nose with autumn berries and strawberry and a suggestion of flowers. There's an intriguing bloody, animal undertone and some smokiness. The palate is firmly gripped by tannins, though the fruit is sweet and ripe. Quite sinewy and muscular. Long. Needs time. Very good indeed.

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru - 3,080ff
Refined and harmonious nose with earth, berries, woodsmoke and a sandalwood spice. Good fruit. Quite powerful; compact and muscular structure, lots of grip from fine tannins and good acidity, yet a savoury, chewy density of fruit too. Good length and focus. Very good indeed.

Bonnes Mares Grand Cru - 3,850ff
Distinctively light, fragrant nose. Floral notes and cherry fruit. Some smooth, creamy vanilla. The palate is good with fine, ripe fruit. Compact and focused, this is pure with again a creaminess but good structure and balance. Long. Very good indeed.

Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru - 2,950ff
Quite a toasty, rich, dense berry-fruited nose with pepper and exotic spicy notes. Some toasty oak and a little black olive edge. Very sweet and elegant fruit on the palate. Really lovely fruit. There is a solid grip of tannins at present, but fine structure and complexity. Perfumed, elegant and long. Very good indeed.

Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru - 5,175ff
Terrific sense of sweetness on the nose. There is real perfume and elegance, with sweet floral notes and refined, crisp cherry and raspberry and interesting, darker nuances of woodsmoke and minerals, pepper and damp vegetation. Plenty of spice too. The palate offers similar complexities, with once more good balance and a harmonious, long, focused finish. Very good length. Very good indeed/excellent.