Tasting T1.4 Cotes de Beaune Rouge Louis Jadot

Somewhere around 1981, I was working for Victoria Wine as a Saturday boy. It was there that I first came across a bottle of Bourgogne rouge from Louis Jadot, a French negotiant/vigneron. I didn’t know of Louis Jadot or what Bourgogne meant or that it was made from the Pinot Noir grape. I did however, buy my father a bottle and took it home for a Sunday lunch. Thus started a love affair for both of us of all things related to Burgundy, Louis Jadot and Pinot Noir.

So why dedicate a whole tasting just to some of the wines from one organization?

Through hard work, attention to detail and quality, Maison Louis Jadot has an enviable and well-deserved reputation. They produce some of the best and most typical of ‘place’ of all the wine growers and negotiants in Burgundy.

This is in part due to a strong continuation through the family even after Louis Auguste Jadot (grandson to Louis) died suddenly without any heirs in 1962. His widow appointed Andre Gagey, her husband’s long-time assistant, as managing director. In 1985 the family sold the business to the Kopf family in the US, owners of the Kobrand Corporation, Jadot’s American Importer. Very little changed. In 1992 upon Andre’s retirement, his son Pierre-Henry, became President of Mason Louis Jadot.

As said, it is both a negotiant and a vigneron. So, what is a negotiant in wine terms? A negotiant is a person or organisation that purchases the grapes or indeed wine from a grower and then makes and/or bottles and sells the wine.

Jadot began as a grower in 1827 when Louis Henry Denis Jadot acquired through marriage his first owned plot of Clos des Ursules (a Beaune 1er Cru). Later in 1859 Maison Louis Jadot was founded which is commemorated in the below image of Bacchus’s head. As shown to the right on an actual label, in this case the label of that first vineyard.



Most negotiants started as growers, who as entrepreneurs realised they needed more than one plot and found it easier to buy wine or grapes from other growers. This also helped to build their name as they produced more wines. By the mid 1980’s Louis Jadot was one of the most successful and venerable negotiant wine makers in Burgundy. Whilst still owning several vineyards.

Then in 1985 they purchased the vineyards of Clair-Dau. This purchase of significant Grand and 1er Cru holdings in the Cote de Nuits (north of Beaune and towards Dijon) transformed the company from being a Cote de Beaune (around Beaune and heading south to Chagny) Domaine to a major grower covering the whole of the Cote d’Or.

Further purchases were made of Maison Champy (1989), Domaine Prieur-Brunet (2017) plus portions of vineyards of Chateau de Chorey les Beaune (2012). Some other parcels of vineyards in both Cotes as well added to their growing list.

Also outside of the Cotes but within Burgundy they purchased Chateau des Jaques in Beaujolais in 1996 and the jewel of Pouilly-Fuisse, Domaine J.A. Ferret in 2008.

Maison Louis Jadot is now one of the most important names in Burgundy. Today it controls 270 hectares of vineyards from Chablis to Beaujolais. Within that, 141 hectares are in the famous Cote d’Or, the majority of which are Premier and Grand Cru.

They also oversee Domaine Gagey, which includes amongst others pieces of Grand Cru’s Clos St. Denis and Echezeaux.

It is estimated that this once mainly negotiant business now produces 80% of their Premier and Grand Cru wines from their own vineyards.

A few other facts:

Annual production 10-12 million bottles

Sold in 120 countries

150 different wines from burgundy

Grape varieties grown for the white is Chardonnay (plus a little bit of Bourgogne Aligote). The red is Pinot Noir.

It is quite incredible that one organisation that is making so many different wines and so many bottles of them is not known for that fact. Rather they are known more by their reputation for quality. More importantly their reputation for each of those wines to be so specifically representative to the vineyard that they come from. If you taste three Beaune 1er Cru wines from three different Beaune 1er cru vineyards, you will be able to taste the difference.

It is with this in mind that I wanted to try six wines all from the Cote de Beaune to be able to feel those subtle differences and to better understand the ‘terroir’ of each area.

Cotes De Beaune

The Cote d’Or as mentioned before runs from Dijon to Chagny (just north of Chalon-sur-Saone).

The Cote de Beaune is the southern part of the Cote d’Or. In the smaller insert map below it is coloured green and it is shown in greater detail in the main part of the map. It starts just North of Beaune.

In the northern part of the Cote d’Or, the Cote de Nuits (named after the town of Nuits-St-Georges) wines produced are predominantly red. In the southern part (Cote de Beaune) it continues to be red dominant, although more perfumed, lighter and silky wines. As it heads south to the great names of white Burgundy, such as Meursault, Puligny and Chassagne-Montrachet Chardonnay takes over. Further south the red wines return in Santenay. This variation is because the geology of the southern Cote d’Or is more variable than the north.


The areas we will be tasting are as follows and we will taste them in the order that they run from North to South. Although Monthelie which is more ‘up the hill’ from Volnay will come before it.

Savigny-Les-Beaune / Beaune / Pommard / Monthelie / Volnay.

To the wines…

This evenings tasting will be conducted by myself and Harry, with able (or not) assistance lent by Kim, Jen and my parents Alan and Barbara.

1st up is…

Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru La Dominode 2015

Savigny is the third largest appellation by production in the Cote de Beaune, with around 100,000 cases mainly of red wine. There are 22 Premier Cru’s in two styles, more delicate on the south facing clay soils to the north. Rounder, more forward on the east facing gravel to the south. Roughly 26% of production is Premier Cru.

La Dominode lies within the Hautes Jarrons 1er Cru Vineyard on a sandy, slightly pebbly soil and is an example of the more powerful style of Savigny.

Nose: Medium red colour on first viewing. Intense red cherries and dark fruit aromas. Herbaceous notes with cloves coming through towards the end. 

Palate: This wine is silky and smooth, really well balanced. Red fruits follow onto the palate with herbs and cloves nicely aligned. Tannins are very present but already well integrated. Light-medium bodied with moderate acidity. Moderate tannin and a good medium length finish. This wine certainly has more time to hit its peak.


Home to Maison Louis Jadot, Beaune is a beautiful city and the commercial centre of the Cote d’Or. It is the largest appellation by production making roughly 170,000 cases. Most of the large negotiants have substantial holdings in the region. The 28 Premier Cru’s account for over 70% of the 450 hectares.

1er Cru Boucherottes 2016

Lying at the southern end of Beaune, bordering the famous vineyard of Pommard. Limestone soil and location enable this wine to express all its savoury fullness and strength.

Nose: Medium – deep red colour on first viewing. Savoury aromas of mushroom, moss and soil. Hints of red fruits with dark cherries.

Palate: On the palate, surprisingly, we have sweet red fruits. Mushroom and savoury notes certainly coming through. A very smooth medium bodied wine with full acidity. Really nice integrated moderate tannins with a medium – full length finish. This is by no means a baby, but this will develop really nicely over the next 5-7 years. Most likely even longer!

1er Cru Clos Des Ursules 2015

Clos des Ursules is the original vineyard of Maison Louis Jadot, purchased before the company was founded. It is a serious wine and a jewel in their crown. A ‘clos’ is a walled area, this one was originally owned by the Convent of St Ursula, and is part of the larger Vignes-Franches 1er Cru.

This vineyard produces the most generous, rich and full-bodied wines with complexity, structure and depth. Probably the closest to a Grand Cru in the Beaune appellation.

Nose: Medium – deep red colour on first viewing. Strong aromas of red fruits, floral and herbaceous notes. Lovely perfumed notes on this, beautiful.

Palate: Very powerful, beautiful red fruits. Strawberries, cherries and redcurrants. This is very young indeed. Similar herbs and perfume coming through, almost parma violets. Medium bodied with high acidity. Full tannins, definitely needs time, with a lovely long finish. This is going to last at least another decade if not more. Extremely impressive.

Pommard 1er Cru Epenots 2015

The village of Pommard is the first village south of Beaune. It produces only red wines and they tend to be the most powerful of all the Cote de Beaune.

Epenots has a complex expression of fruit and tannin with a structured and masculine finish.

Nose: Medium – deep red colour on first viewing. Powerful cherry aromas. Herbaceous notes with floral aromas, perfumed once again.

Palate: Does exactly what it says above. Powerful fruit profile of cherries and redcurrants with big integrated tannins. Very powerful, but also divine and smooth. Medium – full bodied with high acidity. Full tannin and a medium – full length finish. Another one for laying down, it is producing some fantastic flavours right now, it will only get better! Maturing nicely over the next decade.

Monthelie 1er Cru Champs-Fuillots 2013

Not a well-known appellation, but one that produces great value wines and also a personal favourite of my father, myself and Harry. It may struggle a little between the Pommard and the Volnay, it is a more rustic wine, but at its best hints of flowers, violets and roses, fruit, raspberry, cherry with a little cinnamon and pepper spice.

Les Champs-Fuillots is the largest of Monthelie’s 15 Premier Cru sites and is set on south and east facing slopes (early morning sun) with light and stony well drained soils with a high limestone content.

Nose: Red brick colour on first viewing. Unfortunately there is some definite bottle variation here. Very musty on the nose, not corked however, possibly sleeping. Once past it, red fruits and farmyard coming through.

Palate: A tough one to read considering the must. However, one can detect notes of red cherries, redcurrants and herbs. Farmyard is very apparent (possibly increased by the musty notes). Medium bodied wine with moderate acidity, moderate well integrated tannins and a medium length finish. Such a shame that it was not quite ready for us. Difficult to score but from the underlying notes detected it is clearly an extremely good wine.

Volnay 1er Cru Clos de La Barre 2010

Another family favourite, Volnay lies roughly in the centre of the Cote de Beaune, Pommard is to the north, and Meursault to the south. South-Easterly exposed vineyards on a thin chalky soil with a high calcium content produce delicate wines with finesse and purity.  There are 26 premier Cru’s.

Clos de La Barre produces powerful yet elegant wines with concentrated red fruit flavours and floral aromas.

Nose: Red brick colour on first viewing. Forest floor, mushrooms and moss. This baby is ready and singing.

Palate: Beautiful stewed fruits on the palate, mainly forest notes however. Pure deep mushroom and moss on the palate. Beautiful structure and the balance between the tannin and acidity is perfect. A medium – full bodied wine with full acidity and full tannin. Very long finish, this wine is far from done. Something to keep for at least a decade and will continue to impress.


Being a burgundy lover myself, I was immensely excited for this tasting. It is very rare that I get to taste such exquisite wines. It is even rarer that I get to taste wines from one vineyard to the next by the same grower all at the same time.

This was a big highlight for me, even the issue with the Champs-Fulliots did not dampen my spirits! If you can get hold of any of these wines I would highly suggest grabbing them. They are all very distinctly different and yet immensely pleasurable to drink. You will not go wrong with any of these wines.

The scores:

Savigny-Les-Beaune 1er Cru 2015 – 91 Points

Beaune 1er Cru Boucherottes 2016 – 92 Points

Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Ursules 2015 – 93 Points

Pommard 1er Cru Epenots 2015 – 93 Points

Monthelie 1er Cru Champs Fulliot 2013 (bottle variation issue) – Unable to give a proper score however based on what we could garner a solid 90-95 Point wine.

Volnay 1er Cru Clos de la Barre 2010 – 93 Points

As mentioned above an extremely good tasting of extremely good wines. It was very tough to score the Monthelie however with time the musty aromas did drop off slightly. We have tasted this wine many times across the years and have always been impressed with it. I see no reason why this one will be any different. Thank you for reading and I hope you all enjoyed this week’s article!

David & Harry

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