About Me

Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Maison Louis Jadot

During the middle of harvest it is never an easy time for a winery to host guests, but on this stunning morning we were invited to have a private tour of one of the world's most reknowned wineries - which I had the pleasure of visiting 9 years prior. So it would be interesting to taste the newer vintages in barrel and bottle and compare with my notes from my previous visit.


Maison Louis Jadot was founded in 1859 by the man whose name it bears, M. Louis Henry Denis Jadot. A young man of Belgian ancestry whose family had settled in Beaune near the turn of the century, Louis Henry Denis Jadot developed an early interest in the wines of Burgundy. In 1794, the first family members to arrive in France purchased half of the extraordinary grand cru vineyard of Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles; later, 1826, Louis Henry's father acquired the Clos des Ursules vineyard, in the premier cru of Vignes-Franches in the commune of Beaune, which has remained a solely-owned holding of the Jadot family ever since.
In February 1985, the négociant firm of Maison Louis Jadot was purchased by the owners of Kobrand Corporation, sole United States importer of Jadot Burgundies since 1945. Under an enterprising long-term investment plan designed to fully develop the extraordinary potential of Maison Louis Jadot, the holdings of Domaines Clair Daü, an exceptional collection of grands and premiers cru vineyards in the Côte de Nuits, were purchased in 1986, adding approximately 35 acres to the 45 already owned by Domaine des Héritiers Louis Jadot. In addition several other key acquisitions, then in 1995 they purchased the grands crus of Les Echézeaux and Corton Les Grèves and Savigny-Lès-Beaune Les Vergelesses, Les Lavières and Les Narbantons. Including vineyards under long-term contract, Jadot controls nearly 150 acres of superb vineyards throughout the Côte d'Or and vinifies nearly 100% of every great red and white Burgundy which bears its label.


Maison Louis Jadot's principles of vinification balance tradition and technology, and focus on the purest expression of the ‘terroir’, or qualities unique to the microclimate, through the medium of the vine. With rare exception, Burgundies are single-varietal wines, produced from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; their singularity is derived from an extraordinarily refined understanding of the subtle differences among different terroirs. It is Jadot's fundamental conviction that the expression of each wine's origin and typicity resides in interfering with nature as little as possible.
White grapes are pressed immediately upon arrival at the cellar and fermented in 228-litre casks used for the same wine vintage to vintage. Depending on the ripeness and natural acidity of the fruit, alcoholic fermentation will be followed by a malolactic fermentation of from 10 to 60%, both processes taking from two to six months. The wines are given a ‘bâtonnage’, whereby the lees are stirred into the must, once or twice a week for a few months during the aging process.
The quality of the vintage and the greatness of the cru determine the length of time the wine will spend in oak as well as the percentage of new oak, if any, to which it will be exposed; typically, aging lasts from 12 to 20 months in no more than 30% new wood.

Red grapes are destemmed and crushed and allowed to macerate for up to a week with the skins to draw forth colour and extract. Fermentation on the skins, again in casks used for the same wine vintage to vintage, takes place over 20 to 30 days at temperature several degrees above what most producers consider prudent, but which extracts an extra measure of colour, depth and concentration in the wine. The ‘must’ is agitated, but not pumped over, twice daily; this retains a higher degree of oxygen to nourish the yeasts and lengthens the fermentation. In some vintages, malolactic fermentation is suspended for a period of a few months to fix the colour and aromas. After a period of 18 to 22 months' aging in oak, again with never more than 30% new casks, the final blend is assembled and bottled. Red wines receive neither fining nor filtration.


In keeping with its non-interventionist philosophy, Jadot considers that very great vintages, complete and harmonious by themselves, require minimum contact with new oak. The type of oak is confined the subtle; Nevers, Allier, Tronçais and Vosges varieties. These support and enhance the delicate aromatic and palate nuances of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay rather than dominating the spectrum of characteristics in the wine. Once bottled, Jadot's wines are released 4 to 6 months later than those of most producers in order to set the new arrivals on the proper path toward maturity.
Maison Louis Jadot's headquarters are located in the heart of Beaune. The most beautiful of its three cellars, used for storage of older-vintage wines and convivial gatherings, is situated in the Couvent des Jacobins, built in 1477 and once a convent of the patron Saint Dominique, founder of the Dominican order. The most recent cellar, on the outskirts of Beaune which we were, has doubled their production and storage capacity as of mid-1986, which are both architectural and practical, is one of the most technologically advanced facilities in France.

After another great visit and tasting, it was time to find another local boutique restaurant to enjoy these fine wines with some fresh and appropriate local cuisine.

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