Louis Jadot Le Montrachet 2006
Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
At the summit of the slope where the communes of Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet converge is a cluster of vineyards comprised of five of the six greatest white wine microclimates of Burgundy. They all share the name of the greatest among them, Le Montrachet, which like Bâtard-Montrachet, lies partly in Puligny and partly in Chassagne. Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet and Chevalier-Montrachet lie within Puligny; Criots-Bâtard Montrachet lies within Chassagne. The collective surface area of these grands crus totals only 80 acres.
The Le Montrachet vineyard lies nearly at the crest of its slope, occupying just under 10 acres on each side of the border dividing Puligny and Chassagne. Its name "Mont Rachat", from the Latin "Mons Rachisensis," means literally a "bald hilltop," and the soil is so poor and stony that it does not even support underbrush. The subsoil, however, is extremely chalky, perfectly drained, and with a south-south-eastern exposition that catches the sun's rays from dawn to dusk. These factors contribute to an exceptional level of organic complexity, concentration and maturity in the fruit.
For the three centuries preceding the French Revolution, nearly all of Le Montrachet belonged to the Clermond-Montoizon family; the present vineyard name dates from 1482. Since the end of the 1700s, Le Montrachet has become divided among a dozen or so proprietors: the largest solely-owned parcel consists of approximately five acres, but most are far smaller. For its scarcity as well as for its rare opulence, Le Montrachet is justifiably one of the most costly and sought-after wines in the world.
Maison Louis Jadot practices a traditional vinification, primarily in new oak casks, to underscore and highlight the unique qualities inherent in the fruit of this great vineyard. Le Montrachet is rarely described in any but superlative terms. Its incomparable depth, intense fruit elegance, and layers of complex, textural richness, reflected in a sublime bouquet reminiscent of honey and toast, culminate in a finish of haunting persistence.
This most celebrated of white Burgundies is a synthesis of density and elegance, marked by intense ripe pear and stone fruit flavors, underscored by mineral, spice and grilled nut tones set in a finely honed structure ending in a subtle, honeyed texture.
Wine Spectator - "Le Montrachet is also creamy, but racy, especially for its Chassagne origins, and intense from start to finish. 94-97"
Louis Jadot Winery
The House of Louis Jadot has been producing exceptional Burgundy wines since its founding in 1859 by Louis Henry Denis Jadot. For the past 150 years Louis Jadot has continued as one of the great names of Burgundy and has gained international reputation for its superb red and white Burgundy wines. Louis Jadot is not only one of the largest producers of estate Burgundies of the Cote d'Or, it is one of the most celebrated exporters of premium Burgundies, owning close to 140 acres of vineyards from 24 of the most prestigious sites in Burgundy. View all Louis Jadot Wines
About BurgundyView a map of Burgundy wineries
Burgundy is a small region, only about a fourth the size of Bordeaux. The narrow thread of vineyard land stretches from the city of Dijon to Lyon. The five main districts of Burgundy are – from North to South - Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Maconnais, and Beaujolais. Chablis is far removed geographically (above Dijon) and adheres to its own classifications. Beaujolais is its own region due to grape variety, vinification methods and regulations. Leaving us with the Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnais as the heart of Burgundy.
Grapes of the region are easy to remember - Pinot Noir for reds, Chardonnay for whites. Burgundy can be called home for both varietals, despite their increasing presence in every winemaking country. In this area red wines out number whites, although the quality for both is unparalleled.
A bit of History...Once owned and run by the church and nobility, the vineyards of Burgundy were seized during French Revolution and sold off piece by piece. Further separation occurred with Napoleonic Law, which ordered that inherited land be divided among children equally. These two factors put Burgundy where it is today – a myriad of vineyards and villages, each with a number of growers and producers.
NégociantsBurgundy is organized by plots of land and labeled as such. About half of Burgundy works on a négociant system. Growers of small plots sell grapes, or more often, barrels of already made wine, to négociant houses who then blend it with other wines from that region and put it under their label. While the négociant system may sound like a way to produce mass amounts of anonymous wines, that is, luckily, not the case. Wines are labeled with a sense of place, so you know what land you are getting. There are some négociant houses that are much more renowned and consistent than others, and for the most part, the system works. But times are changing. Some growers are purchasing more land and making the wine on their property, under their label, for more consistency. On the other side, négociant houses are buying up their own vineyards so they will have more control over winemaking.
Classification SystemThe classification system is similar to a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid is the most basic of the classifications, the Burgundy AC, meaning grapes can come from anywhere in the Burgundy region. Next up is a village wine, such as Côte de Beaune or Côte de Nuits, or the villages within these regions, like Givery-Chambertin or Puligny-Montrachet. The label will say Appellation Puligny-Montrachet Controlée. At the next level is the premier cru. A wine that says Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru will still be Appellation Puligny-Montrachet [premier cru] Controllée, but may include the premier cru vineyard name, such as Les Pucelles. At the tip of the pyramid are the grand cru vineyards. There are only 30 in the Côte d'Or and the name of the vineyard is the appellation name.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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