Maison Louis Jadot’s new Burgundy vintage began shipping this month. 2011 has lived up to the great promise it showed during a preview tasting this past spring at NYC’s Blue Water Grill, where the wines delighted many wine trade veterans, whose barely-contained enthusiasm gave the room a palpable buzz. Effusive and cheerful tasters included: Wine Educator and Sommelier Robin Kelly O’Connor of Italian Wine Merchants; Owner Geri Tashjian of Burgundy Wine Company and Independent Wine Educator and Writer Christy Canterbury MW.
Mr. O’Connor was ebullient on reds and whites, noting they showed cheerful freshness and charming fruit. The ardent and articulate Ms. Canterbury found much to like, explaining, “These 2011s are very approachable and easy to drink right out of the box. It’s a vintage with good fruit to low alcohol and bright acidity. It’s a joy the drink the wines. Whether your palate is Old or New World, anyone will enjoy the wines: they’re that approachable. They’re simply likable, the class favorites. There’s great purity to the wines and they’re very clean, which is always a plus. There’s just enough color in the reds without being overly dull and they’re not ponderous. Though 2011 was a cooler, low-alcohol vintage, compared to, say, 2007, the wines are not wanting for fruit. It’s a great vintage, adorable and even a sexy vintage, to get people interested in Burgundy just in time for there to be little to buy in 2012. 2011 is a great ‘crossover’ vintage for Old and New World palates; it’s happy and sip-able. If 2012 and 2013 are not bountiful years for quantity, hopefully there’ll be more wine in 2014. Meanwhile, 2011 is a brilliant vintage for restaurants and consumers: you can take these wines out any night of the week and enjoy them. I suspect there might end up being a lot of competition for these wines.”
Jadot’s Technical Director Frédéric Barnier is an adept, sensitive winemaker who has maintained Jadot’s long reputation for producing Burgundies equal to those of the best growers, especially in difficult vintages. Pouring the wines, Frédéric’s excitement and pride in his team’s work during 2011 was evident in his comments, “In 2011, it was a challenge to keep the freshness; the wines had a lot of malic acid. There was a strange cycle during the growing season; it was early ripening with an early harvest. It was more difficult in the Côte de Beaune, where some villages had hail. An early vintage in Burgundy is always a challenge because acidity is the key to longevity in our wines. For red wines, this added a ‘tenderness’ to the texture wherein the acidity didn’t accentuate the tannins. Essentially, this is the character of our 2011 reds: they’re very accessible and tasty, even while young. For the white wines, we kept some malic acid to retain the nice balance and freshness that is so important to whites. The levels of malic acid were low for the reds but not so bad on the whites, so the impact of malolactic fermentation had the potential to be huge. Interestingly, 2011 is an early vintage without the character of an early vintage. The level of ripeness was not so advanced; we picked the grapes at relatively low 12% alcohol. This helped us keep a nice balance between fresh flavors and a certain feeling of ‘tension,’ because the actual level of acidity was low with alcohol not so high. In the end, we’re really surprised by the touch of the whites; at first, we were confident with the reds but not so much with the whites. Now, people are really enjoying the whites as much as the reds!”Learn More