The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2016

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20  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2016 F ounding father Thomas Jefferson's belief that westward expan- sion and the ownership of small farms were key to the nation's health is a model that's being put to good use by stalwarts of the wine industry. Case in point, the venerable house of Maison Louis Jadot, where winemaking has been under the direction of Jacques Lardière's protégé Frédéric Barnier, who was named Technical Director in 2013. Lardière has come west to pioneer the com- pany's interests in Oregon's Yamhill-Carlton AVA. "We are limited in Burgundy," said Lardière during a tasting of Résonance—Jadot's new holding in Willamette Valley, adjacent to Gran Moraine— held at Cavalier early this year. "As a company, a larger range of wines is better, and in Oregon we can build a dream." Upon Lardière's urging, Jadot acquired the 32-acre Résonance vineyard, a dry- farmed, own-rooted estate planted to old-vine Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer, from Kevin and Carla Chambers in the spring of 2013. Lardière noted that at one point in his career Chambers had sold Jadot wines in Portland. The estate, which lies between the Pacific Ocean and the forest, is currently being replanted and converted back to biodynamic produc- tion, while Lardière sources fruit from nearby sites and plans the winery, scheduled for completion in 2018. "Our goal at Résonance is not to produce wine that we like; it's to produce what the appellation gives," he said. Lardière's first encounter with Oregon was in the early 1970s when David Adelsheim brought samples to Burgundy, and he has been following the region's progress ever since. Jadot's holdings in the Côte de Nuits include nine first growth vineyards and 15 Premier Cru wines, yet Frédéric Barnier describes their market position as "village specialists." "Forty years ago, Premier Cru didn't exist; it has emerged," he said. "We declassify the best crus to maintain quality at the village level, and when you exceed expecta- tions there, consumers will trade up." One of the few producers remaining, if not the last, to maintain its own cooperage, Jadot controls every aspect of barrel production from sourcing to finishing. A considerable effort for whites that see only 30 percent new oak. The 2013 Meursault tasted of kaffir lime blossom, green apple, oyster shell, saline minerality and a whiff of grilled bread, while the 2013 barrel-fermented Chassagne-Montrachet offered more dry extract and white fruit consistent with its later-ripening sites. Yields in Burgundy have suffered, but Barnier's response is pragmatic: "Small years mean a higher turnover for us, with wines being released sooner," he said, noting that demand from Asia only puts pres- sure on the top wines. A side-by-side look at his 2012 releases of Nuits-Saint- Georges—a lean, savory mash-up of cranberry, star anise and driving acid- ity—and Pommard—with persistent black fruit and generous almost gritty tannins—was capped off by an umami-driven 2002 Clos des Ursules—a Premier Cru that shows considerable depth of savory red fruit on the mid-palate, which, for Barnier, is a good sign of its continued evolution. In a modern twist of fate, Lardièrie, who retired from Jadot's cellars in 2012, is mov- ing the house forward with his considerable efforts in Oregon, while Barnier battles challenging vintage condi- tions and keeps watch over the cellars in Burgundy. SAN FRAN INSIDER LOUIS JADOT PLANTS A STAKE IN OREGON'S YAMHILL-CARLTON AVA story and photos by Deborah Parker Wong Westward Expansion Jacques Lardière is pioneering the Yamhill-Carlton AVA for Jadot with Résonance. Frédéric Barnier, Technical Director of the Maison Louis Jadot Côte d'Or Burgundies, led a tasting at Volta in June. Oregon's Yamhill- Carlton AVA.

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