Tour de France without bikes but with wine: Maison Louis Jadot

Maison Jadot logo

It might seem strange to visit more than 1 vineyard in the same region or even in the same town. But every winemaker has its own way of making wines and therefore have wines will taste differently… also they don’t all have vines on the same places or might use different grape varieties. As second Bourgogne vineyard we visited Maison Louis Jadot. Maison Louis Jadot is not as old as the previous vineyard I wrote about, but nearly as old Jadot was founded in 1859 by Louis Henry Denis Jadot and belonged to the Jadot family until 1985. In this year in order to ensure the company’s future, Madame Jadot (who didn’t have children) decided to sell the company to the 3 daughters of Rudy Kopf, Jadot’s US importer and a very good friend of her. FYI these 3 sisters are still alive and kicking, they still visit the vineyard once a week or once a month (can’t remember it exactly). Maison Louis Jadot today gets run by Pierre-Henry Gagey and this since 1985 (with the helping hand of Technical Director Frédéric Barnier since 2011) . Obviously more things happened between 1859 and 2014, but I decided to keep the history to a minimum as you can read most about their history on their website 🙂

Louis Henry Denis Jadot

Pierre-Henry Gagey and the 3 Kopf daugthers

Pierre-Henry Gagey

Our visit of Maison Jadot was at their ‘new’ location or better ‘cuverie’ (where they bottle and ago most wines except for the old vintages) where they moved in just a few years ago . I would have loved visiting their original location aka ’Couvent des Jacobins’, that as you might already guessed from its name used to be a convent. The ‘Couvent des Jacobins’ is still used as storage/aging location for the Grand Cru wines and some of the older wines… but one cannot have it all and  their new location is as magnificent and incredible but just more modern :-). The mental picture that sticks in my mind when I think back (besides the one from the enormous cellar) was the production hall. Yes, production hall!! It reminded me a bit of a concert arena (that big) where they had a specific way to make and distribute their wines in/to barrels and stainless steal (INOX)tanks. They pump the grapes in INOX tanks  via a unique stubbing system that I have never seen before. Also they will be pumping the grapes in both INOX  and wooden barrels, the reason they pump it in both types of barrels is purely related to space 🙂  as in that stage the types of barrels don’t matter yet. FYI the aging in tanks all happens naturally, as for as far as we were told there is no temperature control! Like for example the Gamay grapes they destem the grapes in order to allow them to undergo a vinification according to the traditional method from the 19th century. This basically means the fermentation is done with wild yeasts, with maceration periods lasting two up to three weeks. What I also noticed during their explanations by Baptiste (our guide) is that as they don’t regulate their temperatures automatically they depend on seasons and weather even more than other vineyards. Anyhow, a very interesting method they use!

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The cellars were also an eye-catcher with wooden barrels as far as the eye can see. It is like when you’re walking through Harrods in London, you always find a new room you didn’t see before with more stuff … in Jadot’s case always a new room with more wooden wine barrels. I’m not sure how many it were, but A LOT!! We considered ourselves lucky to be able to taste some wines directly from the barrel itself. First of all to experience how some wines taste during their aging process (young, not completely developed or maybe ready for bottling), but also to afterwards being able to make better comparisons with the similar finished/ already bottled wine from a different year.  A way of tasting you learn a lot from to my opinion… I think Carlos also had a favorite?! Or he forgot spitting and started feeling it 😉

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Something I noticed about the Jadot wines had a more herbal/ complex taste and smell compared to the ones we tasted at Bouchard for example. Best way for you guys to try this is to for example buy a particular wine from the same region from different wine makers and taste them next to each other. This will prove 100% what I’ve been saying until now that 2 (of more) winemakers might have vineyards on the same location, but both of their finished product will have a completely different product! Of course this might have also been because of the selection they served us, but still…

Plan appellations Jadot

Plan appellations Jadot (2)

Feast your eyes on the soils 🙂

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To make the tasting of the bottled wines more interesting Baptiste made it a blind tasting. I admit I wasn’t nearly as good I started thinking I was 😦 I think most of the wines we tasted were Mâcconais which is close to the Beaujolais wine region where the wines also have this more herbal taste/scent … but this is my amateur opinion. It is true lots of wines  should be drunk accompanied from some food (Cheeses, meat, etc…) as this will make you look at these wines from a totally different perspective. Nevertheless I did find a few favorites like the Corton-Pougets Grand Cru 🙂 (Carlos even insisted I took a picture with it as I couldn’t stop saying how good it was)

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BUT I did learn lots of new things during our visit and cannot wait to open one of the Jadot Bottle I now have a home and learn some more 😉 On the question which of the Burgundy wines I liked the most I wouldn’t be able as they were too different + they all have something I like for a different occasion (If I don’t find one I’ll make one). You try them and see what your opinion is?!

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Up to Champagne….

In case you would want more about these wines please contact Peter lauwerens from Cinoco – Le palais Du Vin +32 (0)475/595.3456 – peter.lauwerens@cinoco.com

 

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