The Clos Vougeot was founded in 1112 by the Cistercian order under St. Bernard de Clairvaux. The monks began with a few acres of vines, and built a small chapel and press house at their edge. Over the next 200 years, various members of the nobility bequeathed a great many vineyards to the order, and during this period, construction of the wall surrounding its vineyards was begun. The wall enclosing the present 124 acres was completed in 1336, but it was not until 1555, under the 48th abbot of Cîteaux, Dom Jean Loysier, that construction of the present château was begun. From the outset white vines, probably of the Pinot Blanc variety, were cultivated within the walls of the Clos, and a certain proportion of white grapes were vinified with the red to yield a rosé wine.
At the end of the 1700s, when more deeply-colored wines began to be preferred, the Clos' white vines were gradually replaced by Pinot Noir. The Clos Vougeot vineyard remained intact in the hands of the church until the French Revolution; since then it has been fragmented, and today, there are upwards of seventy owners. The geologic composition ranges from chalky clay, high in pebbles, on the higher parts of the slope, to moist, compact soil richer in humus and with fewer pebbles on the lower. These variations in soil, and the numerous individual owners, account for the variation in the wines. Louis Jadot is one of the principal owners in the Clos Vougeot, with a 6.36-acre parcel assembled primarily from its acquisition of the vineyards of Clair Daü and Domaines Champy in the 1980s; Jadot controls, in addition to this, another 1.73 acres through long-term contracts. It is vinified to produce a rich wine of power and depth which retains a subtlety of body and elegant complexity, with full, fragrant and distinctly floral bouquet.
Ripe, velvety, old-viney fruit aromas and flavors dominated by blackberries and black cherries are marked by distinct notes of violets, toast and minerals in this wine, and are set in a powerful yet elegant tannic structure.
"A very earthy mix of medium and lower register dark berry fruit aromas framed in obvious wood introduces dense, powerful and serious big-bodied flavors replete with taut muscle and a textured, indeed almost thick mouth feel that culminate in a delicious, complex and youthfully austere finish of excellent length. For the patient.
"This ripe, smooth version is laced with black currant and cassis, with a solid structure underneath. Needs to resolve the tannins, so give this a few years of age. Just a little dry on the finish. Best from 2012 through 2022."
"Good full, deep red. Musky redcurrant, cherry and roasted coffee aromas are lifted by pungent minerality and show a medicinal reserve. Suave and silky but quite penetrating, with ripe but classically dry flavors framed by vibrant minerality. Broadens out impressively on the back half, finishing with superb energy, structure and perfume. Classic, austere Clos Vougeot with a long life ahead of it.
International Wine Cellar