Human psychology is very simple when it comes to wine. If you’ve been told 700 times that Burgundy is Pinot Noir kingdom and found yourself orgasming right into it during a tasting with fellow worshippers, the chances that you’re going to want to bash somebody over the head with a magnum for not complying to your wine gods is rather high. I understand that branding and reputation make up a major part of this business, but personally, when the wine is in front of me, in my living room, paired with loads of peanut butter and popcorn while watching House of Cards, I don’t give a shit. The only thing I care about is the taste and the feeling the liquid delivers (or doesn’t). The latter applies for this wine.
Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru Theurons 2009 has a clear, medium garnet color. The nose is dominated by tertiary aromas of toffee, forest floor, tea leaves, overripe cherry, caramel, so I’d say fully developed even though some critics/bloggers give it 12-15 years potential. The palate is delightfully reminiscent of an after-rain autumn walk. Dry, with high acidity, medium tannins and high alcohol, which unfortunately turns the boat over in the end. Primary notes are almost undetectable in the mouth, except for a few cherries and raspberries here and there. I’d say that this is a good wine, representing Burgundy to the fullest, but on the other hand, it lacks complexity and balance, followed by a drinking window of max. three more years (and that’s being generous). I can’t help but think that this Pinot was once a miraculous wine (by the price tag and appellation obviously), but at this moment it’s starting to slowly decay and wither away. I was also surprised that the nose was heavily covered in tertiary notes, but the wine had razor sharp acidity (?), but on the other hand the alcohol was jumping all over the place. I tasted this wine in class, so I have no idea about the storage conditions. All in all, a very big confusion to me, so maybe one day I’ll risk investing 40 more euros in discovering the truth.
Grape varieties: 100% Pinot Noir
Aging: oak barrels for 12-15 months
Average price: 38€
GN score: 87/100
Region: France – Burgundy – Cote de Beaune
Pinot Noir is like your spoiled rich cousin – it’s sensitive to literally everything (cold, warmth, rain, frost, sun, water, tough soil, soft soil, rot, mold…), it pleads for attention, it doesn’t care about your feelings, but when you succeed in putting it on the right path, it becomes a voucher for the chief elite of the wine world. On the other hand, it’s a great crowd pleaser, especially for beer drinkers that want to give wine a shot – fruity and not aggressive with the tannins, acidity and alcohol. Of course, Burgundy is its homeland (precisely, the Cote d’Or), but if you want more affordable bottles, give California, Oregon, Australia, Chile or New Zealand a try. When mentioning the 2009 in this region, it gave way to ripe, juicy wines which lacked acidity, therefore lacking a bigger aging potential, but in this sample the acidity was more than on fleek.
Anyone jumping into the world of French Pinot Noir will most likely go for Louis Jadot as a starting point. The quality of their wines is pretty consistent and they seem to be very clean, precise and full-flavored. The downside of this winery, which possesses 50 ha of Pinot Noir alone, is that the prices are sky-rocketing, which puts them head-to-head with some of the smaller growers (smaller production = bigger quality). So my advice would be to start slow, not instantly from the Premier Cru (vineyard sites of very high quality), and progress to the top, while mixing in some New World styles as well, to really get the picture of what this grape can and cannot do in given situations.
Written by Aleksandar Draganić.
I’m a WSET certified grape juice drinker, and yes, I’m that 1% of people that love their job. I drink wine, write about it, preach about it, even take pictures of it. Find me at @grapenomad