Chateau des Jacques, owned by Louis Jadot, with Guillaume de Castelnau
Beaujolais is a glugging wine for early drinking, right? Juicy and fresh, it is a simple pleasure not intended as a vin de garde.
Not according to Guillaume de Castelnau, winemaker at Chateau des Jacques, based in the cru village of Moulin a Vent, who believes that good cru Beaujolais is the equal of any top Burgundy with the same aging potential.
For Guillaume, the idea of Beaujolais as a young wine is an historical aberration - just as First Growths pull up the image of all Bordeaux, so he believes nouveau has pulled down all Beaujolais, and it's time to reverse that perception.
Good, ageworthy cru Beaujolais starts with life - healthy soils, no fertilisers, organic practices - and requires low yields with extended oak aging.
To test this theory out, we tried a range of Chateau des Jacques wines from Clos de Rochegres dating to the year of Back To The Future - which pretty much sums up Guillaume's winemaking philosophy.
All the wines were elegant, precise and vibrant; the best were the most balanced - for me, these were the 2009 and 2010.
1985 cloudy, no fruit left on nose, tertiary cellar and old books, but ripe red fruits remain on the palate; acidity still fresh and tannins firm.
1997 cloudy, aged nose of woodsy earthiness, but again still vibrant on the palate
21st Century Boys
2004 mushrooms, truffles and fresh earth on the nose, fresh red fruits but lacks plumpness.
2005 ripe fruit and fresh earth, fresh red fruit and tannins still firm; again needs some more plumpness
2008 nose more restrained and a more balanced wine overall, red fruits and earthiness, fresh and firm
2009 nose more restrained again, red fruits, cool mint, plump fruit and balanced
2010 red fruits, truffles and cool mint; good balance, supple, fresh and firm
2013 from a cool year, there is rather less of everything here; tannins rather drying on the finish
Clos de Loyse (2012) ripe, full, fresh, toasty and substantial
Moulin a Vent (2010) ripe red fruits, floral, soft, supple and fresh
Morgon (2011) truffley with supple red fruits
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Jadot Beaujolais Tasting