Tasting at Louis Jadot is like a lesson in Burgundy. There is an extensive range of wines, from Chablis to the Maconnais, with many serious appellations of the Côte d’Or represented in both red and white.
Best of all, you are in the hands of Jadot’s distinguished winemaker, Jacques Lardière, who, with his knowledge of the wines and their terroirs, guides you through the wines like an erudite professor of Burgundy.
I’m sure if we had more time, Jacques would have found more barrels. In the end, we tasted 60 wines, a respectable representation of the more than 100 different appellations and vineyards that Jadot bottles.
All the whites had been racked into tank and were in various stages of fining. The reds were still in barrels and all the samples were tasted from one-year barrels.
Lardière likes to retain a small portion of the malic acid for more energy and freshness, and 2006 is no exception. “In 2006, if you don’t have some malic acid the acidity is very low,” he explained, adding that the vintage is more mineral than its predecessor, 2005.
Jadot’s president Pierre Henry Gagey concurred, noting, “In 2006 there’s a minerality in the whites that’s fantastic.”
This was certainly the case with the Savigny-lès-Beaune Guettes, whose mineral character was augmented by apple and honey notes. It was concentrated and vibrant (87-90). The Pernand-Vergelesses Clos de la Croix de Pierre white, from grapes planted five years ago was ripe, fresh and creamy, with lingering pear and lemon custard flavors (87-90).
Of the village wines, the Meursault had been sulfured for bottling next week, so was not showing its best, but the Puligny-Montrachet, already fined and filtered without the addition of sulfur dioxide, was elegant, firm and linear, offering peach and apricot notes and ending in a long, hazelnut-suffused finish (89-92).
In tank, but not yet fined, the Chassagne-Montrachet Caillerets exhibited focused mineral, lemon, vanilla and spice notes and a long finish (89-92). However, the star of the Chassagne premiers crus that day was the La Romanée. From a site slightly higher in elevation than the Caillerets, it showed citrus and mineral elements, but most of all, great breed and refinement (90-93).
The three rock-star lieux-dits from Meursault were all potentially outstanding, not surprising for a vintage strong in whites. The Charmes displayed concentrated almond, honey and green herb aromas and flavors that persisted (90-93). The Perrières delivered a stony nose and mineral notes on a taut, precise frame (90-93) and the Genevrières evoked juniper, pine forest and wild herb flavors backed by a firm, compact structure. Its finish was long and resonant (91-94).
Racy and detailed describes the Puligny-Montrachet Folatières, a tense study in subtle citrus and mineral shades (91-94). The Combettes combined richness and freshness, with hazelnut accented by gingerbread and brioche notes that last and last (91-94).
Of the grands crus, I was particularly impressed by fresh, creamy, hazelnut, almond and lime flavors and the long, complex mineral-tinged finish of the Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles (94-97). Le Montrachet was also creamy, but racy, especially for its Chassagne origins, and intense from start to finish (94-97). By contrast, the Corton-Charlemagne was fragrant, subtle and nuanced, showing white flower, mineral, herbs and orchard fruit notes, all well-balanced and long (93-96).
Among the reds from barrel, the Savigny-Lès-Beaune Dominode had a terrific nose of black cherry, with good density and structure (88-91). The Beaune Clos des Ursules was classy and rich, laden with blackberry and black cherry notes and fine texture (89-92). The Volnay Clos de la Barre offered intensity and concentration, with an extra dimension to its red fruit character (90-93).
The Pommard Rugiens was more solid than the Volnay, showing cherry, iron and firm tannins (90-93). We left the Côte de Beaune in style with the Corton Pougets, an elegant expression of red cherry (90-93).
An impressive Gevrey-Chambertin exhibited rich, sweet spice, cherry and tobacco flavors with a long finish (89-92), while the Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuées was a suave, rich red, with black fruit and mineral notes (90-93). The Vosne-Romanée Suchots revealed aromas of pepper and rose, with persistent cherry and red berry flavors (90-93).
Jadot makes a fine Chapelle-Chambertin, and the 2006 is a worthy successor. It showed a core of pure cherry, elegance and concentration followed by a long finish (91-94). Coming from two sources, the Clos de la Roche was also very pure and open, with a mineral component and firm structure (92-95).
The Bonnes Mares and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze were the most backward wines on the cellar. The former displayed an intense mineral character on a broad frame (93-96); the latter concentrated fruitcake and tobacco notes (93-96).