I'll Drink to That! #242: Frederic Barnier of Maison Louis Jadot

Posted by Joe Salamone

I'll Drink to That! #242:
Frédéric Barnier of Maison Louis Jadot
2012 Jadot Clos Vougeot

"The wines have to speak before we speak."

That's what Frédéric Barnier of Maison Louis Jadot says in the latest I'll Drink to That! interview. This is an interview that I strongly encourage you to check out. Few people have such a range of knowledge about Burgundy and few are as articulate about it.

The name "Jadot" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For some, Jadot is a large "brand" producing inexpensive wines from Marsannay to Beaujolais. For others, Jadot is one of the grandest names in Burgundy turning out iconic Burgundies like Chevalier-Montrachet "Les Demoiselles," Corton-Pougets, Gevrey Clos St. Jacques and the Clos de Vougeot featured today.

We're happy to offer the 2012 Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot at special pricing for I'll Drink to That! listeners. The regular price is $162.95, but we've discounted it to $152.95 for listeners of the podcast.

To receive the special pricing, please use the IDTTFORME promotion code.You can purchase online, over the phone or by replying to this email.

Frédéric Barnier is from France's Brittany region, an area where there's no vines, but his father was a Burgundy lover. While studying enology in Montpellier, Barnier started working in Burgundy and never left. In 2009, Frédéric Barnier learned that Jacques Lardière, the 42 year veteran Technical Director at Maison Louis Jadot, was planning to retire and had begun searching for a successor. Barnier put his hat in the ring and joined Maison Louis Jadot in 2010.

Frédéric Barnier had big shoes to fill. Jacques Lardière had been Technical Director since 1970 and was widely considered one of the exemplary personalities of Burgundy. He was famed for his boundless energy, his sensitivity and his dedication to the uniqueness of each terroir. When asked what kind of adjustments he's made since taking over from Jacques, Frederic answers "it's small, small, small details we can bring at each step of the process - so it's not revolution, it's evolution. Small things"

Above all, for Barnier "the wines have to speak before we speak." Following Lardière's methods, everything is vinified the same way, letting the terroir shine.

Clos de Vougeot is a Grand Cru that's known for delivering uneven quality. It's the largest Grand Cru of the Côte de Nuits. As Matt Kramer mentions in Making Sense of Burgundy, Clos de Vougeot was a single owner Grand Cru for a long-time, until 1889. In Kramer's view, much of Clos de Vougeot's fame is the result of a "Bordeauxlike" model based on blending for completeness.

Jadot's Clos Vougeot works on a modified version of Kramer's line of thinking. In the interview, Barnier says, "You have to know that in Clos Vougeot, the rows are very long. So for example, we have 400 meter long rows. So that means that we start from the low part, but we go through 2/3rds of the Clos Vougeot. So that means that we have a large view of the Clos Vougeot... we include a large part of the Clos Vougeot, and we have different layers, different types of Clos Vougeot, which makes the complexity at the end of the full Clos Vougeot."

The 2012 Clos de Vougeot is a really beautiful example of the wine. The vintage shows a beautiful site specificity while also delivering an exhilarating combination of concentration and tension-filled verve.

This is a must-listen interview for any lover of Burgundy.Being able to receive very good pricing on what Barnier calls one of their "classic" wines only makes it better.

To order, reply to offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits