- Published: 09 April 2015 09 April 2015
Vertical tasting: Chateau des Jacques, Clos de Rochegres, Moulin-A-Vent
Guillaume de Castelnau - winemaker and estate manager at Chateau des Jacques
Vertical tastings are interesting because they give us the opportunity to view the wine from multiple perspectives. We can gaze down the passage of time, marvel at the effects of climatic variations, different hands at the productive helm, and so on. Chateau des Jacques was featured on this web site a few months ago as a top tip, so when the chance came to attend this tasting in St James’s, London, I could hardly say no.
It was fun to meet the charismatic Guillaume and I was very pleased he was as generous with his time as he was with the vintages. He gave Secret Sommelier a filmed interview (see below) where he talked about each vintage imparting knowledge about production and how they have developed over the years. These are really worth watching for an insight into this exciting wine, as well as to hear Guillaume’s description of the gamay grape variety and a succinct definition of ‘terroir’.
The wines of Chateau des Jacques
All these Chateau des Jacques wines were from the much vaunted Clos de Rochegres and come with undeniable Burgundian traits. As Guillaume suggests in the film, the gamay offers big generous smiles that differentiate it from the more aristocratic pinot grape. Here are my top picks:
The Chateau des Jacques 2013 was intense, darker and seductive. Lovely wine to buy now and track its evolution year by year.
Guillaume described the Chateau des Jacques 2009 as “asleep” but for me it was still seductive and inviting. Seatbelts on when the ’09 wakes up!
The Chateau des Jacques 2005 was a star. Dark red fruit aromas, suggestive of partnering with so many favourite food dishes, it would be unfair to name only one! Lovely colour, length, good grip and balance. Hugely satisfying.
The Chateau des Jacques 1997 was the first vintage produced after Louis Jadot acquired the estate. It has mouthwatering freshness and youth, retaining the cherry fruit, hints of oak and great charm.
The Chateau des Jacques 1985 is a must-try! It has softened in colour with age, the aromas are pure prunes and the taste follows suit but with a great ability fill the mouth with flavours. Hard to put down!
Moulin-A-Vent has earned the nickname, The King of Beaujolais, and it is not hard to see why. These wines are classy, elegant, fun, supremely delicious and are prone to leave us longing for more. Not all of the wines listed above are easy to acquire but look out for them. When the opportunity comes, it must be snapped up!
written & filmed by Nick Breeze
Discord in Odesa; pruning at Shabo goes on!
Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces.
An aperitif by the coliseum
As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.
Artichoke pasta and very fine Pigato
Britain’s lamentable exit
On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.
I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!
Soave: volcanic wines with elegance and longevity
Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.
An American In Paris; Tanisha Townsend (@GirlMeetsGlass) discusses podcasts, Paris wine bars, & what she's drinking at the moment
Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.
Wine tasting in Galicia: The pilgrims search for Albarino
The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.