Pommard is a very old village, and stands on the site of an early Christian temple, built by the Gauls and dedicated to Pomona, the goddess entrusted with the protection of fruits. By the year 1005, the village name had become "Polmarium" or "Polmarca," and underwent several subsequent changes in name before becoming "Pommard." During the Middle Ages, Pommard grew to be an important way-station for travellers passing between Beaune and Chagny, providing the only crossing point for miles along the Serein River before construction of the first bridge in 1670. This slender ford was marked by a cross, called the "Croix de Pommard", which was little help to travellers frequently washed away by the often violent river. The fact that Pommard is perhaps the most widely-known place-name in Burgundy is, curiously, due to the Huguenots. Banished after the Edict of Nantes, they chose to take with them this sturdy, long-lived wine, which they continued to import to each of their adopted countries.
Grands-Epenots is one of two vineyards, the other of which is Les Petits-Epenots, which comprise the Epenots premier cru. Each of these in turn is comprised of two plots, totalling 49 acres in Petits-Epenots and 26.5 acres in Grands-Epenots, making Epenots by far the largest of Pommard's premiers crus, with 75.5 acres. When blended across the two vineyards, only the Epenots designation is used; when not, "Grands-" or "Petits-" is prefixed. Less rustic than most of Pommard's premiers crus, the Epenots are also earlier to mature. Maison Louis Jadot vinifies the production of growers situated in Grands-Epenots to yield a rich, full-fruited and supple wine with the round, plummy fruit and well-knit structure which typify this premier cru.
"Palish red. Reticent but pure aromas of redcurrant and iron. Silky and fine-grained, with a subtle sweetness and a pliant texture. A light, suave wine that finishes with sweet tannins and very good aromatic persistence." -International Wine Cellar 88-90
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.
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The region of Burgundy is the fairytale land of vines. There are stories of kings, conquerors and commoners recounting the seductive effects of a Burgundian wine. Even now, many wine aficionados and lovers will pinpoint their most memorable wine moment at that first taste of an aged Burgundy. Much of this can be related to the terroir of Burgundy. Centuries of winemaking have led the Burgundians to know which grape clone grows best on which plot of land, including the soil, the angle towards the sun and the elevation – all of these factors contribute to the terroir of Burgundy. Vineyards from around the world plant cuttings of exact Burgundian clones, trying to replicate the Burgundy style.
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.
Burgundy 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.
The 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 regions
When 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.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.