Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (375ml half-bottle) 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 90-93
Well-marked by toasty oak, this red's black cherry and plum flavors are buried today, but should shine through in time. Broad-shouldered and dense, with dusty tannins. Best from 2023 through 2042.
Tasted from bottle, the 2017 Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (Domaine Louis Jadot) opens in the glass with an attractive bouquet of berry fruit, plums, orange rind and coniferous forest floor, framed by a deft application of new oak. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, ample and enveloping, its succulent core of fruit framed by melting tannins. From barrel, I faulted this wine for being excessively open-knit, but while it certainly is unusually supple and giving by the standards of this cuvée, there's more depth than I perceived last year: what's more, and critically, this is simply immensely pleasurable to drink.
Containing the largest Grand Cru in all of the Côte d’Or, Vougeot, the village, takes its name from the small stream flowing through it, called Vouge. Over three quarters of the village retains Grand Cru status, and a single vineyard at that: Clos de Vougeot (or simply, Clos Vougeot). Its mass—over 50 ha—retains the single name chiefly for historic reasons.
But today, Clos de Vougeot contains over 80 owners and shows significant soil and slope variations within its boundaries. The top, bordering Musigny and Grands Echezeaux, is calcareous and gravelly on oolitic limestone and exhibits wonderful drainage. The middle sections are limestone, gravel and clay with less of a slope. The lower part has little slant and is mostly made of clay. Historically the diverse parcels were blended but today the abundance of owners means that everyone has his own style. Exploring and understanding them is part of the allure of Clos de Vougeot.
In general a fine Clos de Vougeot when young will be dense and dark but juicy, with a pronounced austerity, and needs a good ten years to bring it to its full potential.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”