Négociants aren’t sexy. There really aren’t too many Instagram posts flush with images of Bouchard, Drouhin, or Jadot, at least in comparison to the parade of Leroy and Rousseau, Mugnier and DRC, Lafon and Leflaive, Coche and Roulot that marches past in what seems like an endless supply. Sure, occasionally you’ll see some shipper bottlings of major wines - Moose or Monty, for example - but no one really posts a humble Gevrey from the likes of Jadot with the same gloating grin that they do Armand Rousseau’s.
Sure, small, family-owned and artisanal are all ideals that often make remarkable wine, even the most remarkable wines, but too often we denigrate the traditional houses for no compelling reason, in favor of some ideology that dictates large must be bad.
However, this thinking is both bigoted and, simply, wrong.
For one thing, many négociants are really a large conglomerate of Domaines. A large part of Jadot’s Burgundy production is from Domaine-owned vines. Moreover, the production of any particular wine is not particularly large. So, while the total number of wines produced is quite large, the number of barrels of any particular cru is not very large at all. In fact, it is often on the same scale, if not smaller, than many of the famous growers.
Jadot has been producing at an exceptionally high level for decades now, offering well made, traditionally styled Burgundies of great quality and agability every year. And every year we run a large pre-arrival offer and order more or less what we sell. But there are two particular cuvées that always overdeliver for a modest tariff and I order an extra few dozen cases of each.
These wines often drink well young and can age for a decade if not more. I am often how shocked both of these drink with a few years of age, say 2-5 years. I can’t recommend them enough. Not only are these delicious, they are supreme values. Load up!
2016 Côte de Nuits-Villages Rouge "Le Vaucrain"
Located in Comblanchien, just south of the famous monopole 1er Clos de la Maréchale, this 3.5 hA vineyard acquired in 1996 has a similar complexion to its famous neighbor to the north: silky, sweet fruit of great tension and beauty, with a hint of sauvage.
Neal Martin: “The 2016 Côte de Nuits Villages Le Vaucrain has an attractive boysenberry and raspberry-scented bouquet that feels clean and pure. The palate is medium-bodied with svelte tannin, well-judged acidity and plenty of crowd-pleasing sucrosity on the finish.”
Burghound: “Here too there is moderate wood influence to the intensely earthy and overtly sauvage aromas of cassis and black raspberry. The rich and nicely dense flavors possess a velvety and caressing mouth feel that exhibit a pretty minerality.”
2016 Pernand-Vergelesses Rouge 1er "Clos de la Croix de Pierre"
This plot is within the 1er En Caradeux, an east facing vineyard on the hill just behind the Hill of Corton. There is classic clay marls here, with a particularly strong core of limestone, lending the wine its sleek, mineral smokiness and rose petal complexion. This is, as ever, excellent and well worth stocking up on.
Neal Martin: “The 2016 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Clos de la Croix de Pierre was only half the normal crop this vintage and it was picked toward the last third of the harvest. It has a perfumed, quite floral bouquet with crushed rose petals infusing the red cherry, strawberry and cranberry fruit. I admire the vigor on display here. The palate is fresh and vibrant with crisp acidity, crunchy tannin and a fine-boned, quite tensile finish that deserves light applause. Recommended.”