Louis Jadot, Savigny-Lès-Beaune
This is a superb village-level Burgundy that is impeccably made by the very highly-regarded house of Louis Jadot. Savigny is one of the villages that slopes away to the south from the hill of Aloxe Corton, running roughly parallel to the main road as it leads to Beaune itself. Blessed with elements of both Beaune and Aloxe, it is an appellation that is very much on the up. Bright red and sweet summer fruits with a silky texture that is supported by ripe, supple tannins.
Chalky, gravelly, light soils allow for good drainage in these vineyards and it's a good thing too; this was a tricky vintage. Lots of rain in the early part of the year was followed by the dreaded April frost which destroyed the buds on many vines across the whole of the Burgundy region. Those that survived then had to endure sporadic hail and then, madly, water stress at the end of the summer. The harvest was saved because, as in Savigny, there is such a great ability for the vines to hold water reserves from wet winters that prevent damage from hot summers and in the end, provide an abundant crop. Not all plain sailing though - these are the perfect conditions for downy mildew as well, so the vineyard teams were kept very busy!
Jadot is a brilliant name in Burgundy and therefore the whole of France. Therefore the whole of the world and it's not too far from the truth to consider them to be one of the most respectable names in wine. They produce an incredibly large number of wines from the length and breadth of Burgundy and though one might imagine that this dilutes the intensity of their production values, they manage to hit the mark with almost every appellation in which they work. We think that it's because they apply a sensible attitude to each village: working with what they have they start at the bottom level and attach an identity to the Village, then seek out the same values albeit at higher quality from the 1er and then Grand Cru vineyards. This way the typicity of the village is preserved and the character of the rarefied single vineyard plots can be found in the village wines. Simplistic? Not sure, but even if it works, they have an absurd number of villages to work through and succeed with; and broadly speaking, they do much better than that. You want to know what Beaune tastes like? Try this; but it'll also be one of the best versions you can get - that's what a really good house like Jadot can do.
There was a period of ten days when the Allotment did some seriously hard work. The harvest of 2006 in Burgundy. Their employer was a chap called Roger and his three daughters; they owned some vineyard area but were principally hired to do the harvest for another of the large (not so brilliant) Burgundy houses. Based in Primeaux-Prissey, south of Nuits St George, the Allotment turned up for work at 6:45am and was bundled into a van. Ten minutes later we were picking grapes in Savigny-Lès-Beaune and as the mist cleared and the hazy sun rose, happiness descended. It was visciously hard work; back-bending to pick and and swapping to carry the great "panniers" that carried 85 kilos of grapes, that were carried to ladders resting against trucks, up the ladders, shoulder down, grapes out. Repeat. Coffee break was at 9:15am and out of the back of one of the vans appeared, miraculously, three Burco heaters with coffee tea and hot water. They were almost entirely untouched as worker after worker headed for many unlabelled bottles of red, white and rosé. "We want to work the vintage; we drink the vintage" was the attitude of one of the burly chaps who originated, like so many others, from the north of France. Many were called Patrick, and the Allotment grew to become very fond of them all, and especially of Savigny-Lès-Beaune.
- Fine Dining
- Hard Cheeses
- Mature Cheeses
- Pinot Noir
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