February 05, 2019

Vertical Tasting of Louis Jadot’s Corton Pougets

I have a lengthy history with Louis Jadot’s Corton Pougets, but the wine itself has a much longer one. Jadot’s Pougets originally came to my attention as a worthy collectible in the late 1980s, during my early years publishing the International Wine Cellar, when I participated in a vertical tasting of a dozen or so vintages from the preceding 20+ years. Some of those wines were made before the arrival of legendary enologist Jacques Lardière, who began his 43-year career with Jadot in 1970 and took over responsibility for winemaking the following year, at the precocious age of 23. Even those earlier vintages struck me as utterly distinctive, but Lardière took the Pougets—along with virtually everything else he touched at Jadot—to a higher level. Lardière’s protégé Frédéric Barnier, who joined Jadot in 2010 and began vinifying on his own here in 2013, already has some superb vintages to his credit.

In December, Barnier showed me a splendid series of Corton Pougets vintages at the Jadot winery outside Beaune. The wines were even more scented and complex as a group than I had anticipated, but they were firmly structured too—clearly built for slow evolution in bottle. If you’re a long-time fan of this bottling, that news will hardly come as a surprise. But if you’re not familiar with Jadot’s Pougets and have an instinctive aversion to Corton wines owing to their frequently dominant soil tones and gaminess-verging-on-rusticity, this wine may be for you. Making it more palatable still, through the years the Pougets has been a very reasonably priced Grand Cru in comparison to Corton Grand Crus from other producers; in fact, Jadot sells this wine at lower prices than some of its Premier Crus from the Côte de Nuits.

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