Oregon and Burgundy with Jacques Lardière, Louis Jadot’s winemaker
Jacques Lardière is the retired winemaker at Louis Jadot who could not keep away from making wine. He was recently in Stockholm to present Jadot’s new wine from Oregon in the United States and met with BKWine Magazine’s Peter Cronström. The tasting also came to include a firework of Jadot wines from Burgundy.
Jadot bought the vineyard in August 2013. The first wine was harvested that same autumn. The vineyard is called Resonance and has about 8 hectares of pinot noir and 1 hectare of Gewurztraminer. It is planted with ungrafted vines, the oldest from 1981, planted by the previous owners, Kevin and Carla Chambers. The vineyard has been cultivated in a sustainable manner and has been managed with some biodynamic methods, at least under the previous owners. The vineyard is located in the Willamette Valley, more precisely in the Yamhill Carlton District, with a soil that contains of both slate and basalt. The vineyards face south and are well protected, making the climate warm and dry. Previous vintages have been much appreciated and written up.
Jacques Lardière told me that for several years they had been thinking about establishing wine production outside of France, and that they had investigated several opportunities before they decided to buy the winery in Oregon. Jacques Lardière retired one year earlier but still took on the responsibility for production at the new winery. He now visits the winery several times a year to develop the production in the direction Jadot wants.
The testing of the Resonance 2013 showed that the wine was dark and slightly cloudy because the wine is not filtered in the same way as the wines in Burgundy. The wine had a lot of fruit and berries, mainly with strawberries and dark cherry and with notes of herbs and coffee, soft tannins with a long and pleasant aftertaste.
The tasting of the other wines began with a flight of white wines: Ladoix le Clou d’Orge 2013, Meursault Genevriere Premier Cru 2013 and Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2013, all with a similar basic taste and character of typically barrel aged Chardonnay, hazelnuts, minerals and high acidity. As a mark of nobility the more expensive wines had greater complexity and more intense aromas and flavours. All three are definitely wines to age and will develop over many years.
The next flight consisted of an entry-level-pinot noir and beaujolais: Couvent des Jacobins 2013 plus two Beaujolais Moulin à Vent Clos du Grand Carquelin, 2013 and 2009. Couvent des Jacobins is a typical pinot noir. It is made from a blend of grapes coming from all over Burgundy. The wine has a good balance and can still be aged a few years. It is, according to what was said around the table, a best-seller at Systembolaget in its price range (120-140 SEK), which it certainly is worth. The two wines from Beaujolais was a surprise with an unexpected strong colour and tannins, though softer than the other wines were tasted, and with very fruity flavours. The older of the two was softer and had gained much from the ageing it had had.
The next flight consisted of premier cru wines from the Côte de Beaune: Boucherottes 2013 (aromatic), Aux Gras 2013 (spicy) and Clos des Ursules 2013 (powerful). All these wines were very good with plenty of fruit and complexity but still young and can be aged for many years.
The final flight consisted of premier and grand cru wines from the Côte de Nuits: Gevrey-Chambertin Les Poissenots 2013 (fruity), Clos Vougeot 2013 (aromatic) and Echezeaux 2013 (spicy). Powerful wines with complex fruit, good acidity and tannins that definitely can and should be aged for many years. They are best enjoyed with a roast or poultry and cheeses. The Echezeaux wine was the highlight of the day and one can already discern the greatness it will attain with time.
Peter Cronström writes on BKWine Magazine on wine tastings with wine merchants and importers.
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