Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” (1998)

From Chablis to Beaujolais, the Louis Jadot winery has become synonymous with the wines Burgundy over the past 150 years. Founded in 1859, the Jadot family’s history with wine actually began 33 years earlier with the purchase of the “Clos de Ursules” Premier Cru vineyard site in 1826 and it from this vineyard that the fruit destined for this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” was sourced.

Now owned by the Jadot family for 187 years, the small walled vineyard that is the Louis Jadot “Clos des Ursules” site is considered one of the most important parts of the Jadot family’s heritage and thus in tasting this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” the suggestion is that you are tasting a part of the Jadot family’s (and Burgundy’s) past.

100% Pinot Noir, this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” underwent a long and slow fermentation in open top tanks in order to fully extract colour, tannins and flavours prior to a 18 month period of maturation in oak barrels. The different Premier Cru portions of this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” were vinified and matured separately, before being blended just before bottling.

Now 15 years after harvest, this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” is not the current UK release of this wine, however wine merchants have informed The Independent Wine Review that a quantity has recently become available on the secondary market and thus this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” has been purchased and is being listed by a number of merchants.

An obvious garnet colour of moderate intensity in the glass, the extended bottle maturation of this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” is clear to see in the colour of this wine with the rustic discolouration that can be associated with bottle age spreading halfway from the rim to centre of the glass.

Aromatically really earthy and almost certainly now fully developed, this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” offers aromas of red cherry, raspberry, damp earth and tobacco smoke. Overtones of wet leaf and mulch add further depth and rustic charm.

Dry and medium bodied in the mouth, this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” is without fault, although in a wine this age storage conditions may induce substantial bottle variation. Red cherry remains the primary fruit flavour of this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules”, with hints of plum and raspberry also in evidence. A meaty mid-palate develops to show some limited spice before the prevalent earthy and mushroom notes take over into the persistent finish.

The tannins of this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” retain a slightly austere character, although are now beautifully integrated into the body of the wine and a good level of acidity has been retained.

Drink this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” in the next two years with game birds or mature and hard cheeses.

Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” (1998)

Score: 92/100 – This 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” is often reffered to as the “flagship” wine of Louis Jadot – it isn’t hard to see why.

Value for Money: 7/10 Available at between £40 and £50 per bottle currently, this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” may be an expensive purchase, however this 1998 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru “Clos des Ursules” remains less expensive than much mature red Burgundy from smaller producers.