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Jayer - Legend Of Legends: Here You Get The Potential Of A Trinity Of Jayer, Rouget And Echezeaux

These three names are by no means insignificant in Burgundian history and now you get an attractive opportunity to invest in a strong vintage that is able to compete with DRC.


A Complicated Affair

Burgundy is full of bizarre stories, complex production and bottling arrangements, intricate ownership and, of course, the most amazing wines. If you know where to look in this orderly but complicated mess, there are exciting investment cases that go under the radar for most people. But not for you.

Here you get the opportunity to invest in the legacy of Burgundy godfather Henri Jayer, from a Burgundy producer who seems to be better than ever. And even in a brand-new release that has the ability to compete with both Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Liger-Belair.


Get an overview of the case here, dive into the full story and find prices and available wines at the end of the article.

- Opportunity to invest in the legacy of the legend Henri Jayer

- Wine from Emmanuel Rouget - one of Burgundy's thriving and hip producers.

- Grand cru investment from the Vosne-Romanée classic Echezeaux.

- Jayer discount on Rouget - good value entry into this investment

- The 2018 vintage is rated on the same level as Domaine de la Romanée-Contis Echezeaux from same vintage

Jayer, Rouget And Echezeaux: A Strong Trinity

Georges Jayer. Emmanuel Rouget. The names are undoubtedly some of the right ones. Georges Jayer is the brother of the legendary Henri Jayer and Emmanuel is the nephew of the same. Henri Jayer is widely recognized as a true legend, especially after his decease, and he is considered one of the decisive profiles that has made Burgundy what it is today - and that mainly through his activities on the grand cru vineyard Echezeaux and the premiers cru vineyard Cros Parantoux. Jayer's parcels on these vineyards were inherited by the family after his death in 2006 and are now cultivated by Emmanuel Rouget. In what is probably the most famous Echezeaux, Rouget now taps the wine under two different names; Domaine Georges Jayer and Domaine Emmanuel Rouget - a total production that is in all likelihood limited to less than 7,000 bottles per vintage!

The Successor To Henri Jayer

Henri Jayer retired in 2002 and passed away in 2006, but his legendary status remains unchanged, and if you see a Henri Jayer wine today, you can be sure it is one of the most expensive in the world.

Henri Jayer's natural successor was his nephew Emmanuel Rouget, who today takes care of the iconic vineyards where Henri Jayer worked. Henri and Georges Jayer inherited the parcels in Echezeaux from their father, and although it is not entirely clear what the division was, they are now united in production with Henri Jayer's nephew Emmanuel Rouget, who must now be described as part of the "old school" in Burgundy. In recent years, he has attracted more and more attention and has gradually fought his way up to become one of the greatest producers.

Grand Cru Echezeaux

The Echezeaux vineyard is physically located in the municipality of Flagey, but the vineyard is always counted among the grand cru's of Vosne-Romanée. The vineyard is one of the great grand cru vineyards and covers a whole 37 hectares, which in turn are divided into 11 climatic zones. Each of these sub-zones has different soils and terroirs that influence the quality of the wine. However, the most important factor in the quality of Echezeaux is above all the producers. This is where the Jayer heritage comes into play when the producer is Emmanuel Rouget. Of the 37 hectares, Emmanuel Rouget has access to the 1.43 hectares, which in turn are bottled with different labels. The three different parcels Rouget has access to deliver a wine that shows the complexity of the vineyard - and is a top Burgundy wine.

Compared to the best producers in Echezeaux, Rouget is in the upcoming category with the potential to be a top 5 producer in the best vintages - which is true in the 2018 vintage. In recent years, Rouget has taken his two sons with him in production, Nicolas in the vineyard and Guillaume in the cellar. This has provided even more stability and the family now delivers some of the best Echezeaux since Henri Jayer retired.

Rarewine Invest's Opinion

With this investment, you have the opportunity to benefit from three extremely strong names in Burgundy: Jayer, Rouget, and Echezeaux. With the latest release from Domaine Georges Jayer in Echezeaux, namely the 2018 vintage produced by Domaine Emmanuel Rouget, you get a solid Burgundy investment, from a very limited production - a wine that in all likelihood was only made in up to 3,500 bottles. At the same time, you can benefit from the fact that the version with Georges Jayer on the label is sold cheaper than Rouget's, even though the wine is exactly the same and the potential is identical - creating a solid starting point for your investment.

This is, in every sense, an opportunity to invest in and share in the legacy of Henri Jayer himself.



Henri Jayer, an untrained French vineyard worker who rose to become one of the most important winemakers in Burgundy in the 1970’s and 1980’s, died Wednesday in Dijon, France. He was 84.

The cause was cancer, according to Martine Saunier, his representative in the United States. He had been ill for several years and was hospitalized five weeks ago, Ms. Saunier said.

At the height of Mr. Jayer’s fame in the late 1980’s, not even the wines of the legendary Domaine de la Romanée Conti were as prized as the frustratingly small quantities of wines he produced. To own even two or three of his Échézeaux or Richebourg, or his Vosne-Romanée Clos Parentoux, was to possess a vinous treasure. Owning a full case of 12 bottles could provoke the wrath of threestar restaurateurs all over France whose cellars were filled with fine Burgundy but who had no Jayer.


Henri Jayer was born in — and rarely left — the famous wine village of Vosne-Romanée, about halfway between the city of Dijon and Beaune, the historic capital of the Burgundy wine district. A modest, unassuming and eminently approachable man, he was the quintessential Burgundian vigneron, or winemaker. What he knew he learned from observation and experimentation, among his vines and in the wine cellar.

In 1945, Mr. Jayer entered into a 10-year contract with the Noirot-Camuzet family, which owned parts of several famous vineyards in Vosne-Romanée. He tended their vines and made the wines in exchange for 50 percent of the grapes. His half was bottled under his name. The contract was extended until 1987, when a younger member of the Camuzet family took over.


Over the years, Mr. Jayer had been buying small portions of the Clos Parentoux vineyard in Vosne-Romanée from the Camuzet family and other owners. He blended Clos Parentoux wine with wines from other Vosne-Romanée vineyards until 1978. That year, for the first time, he bottled a wine entirely from Clos Parentoux; it was the wine that made his reputation, although he rarely made more than some 3,500 bottles — just under 300 cases.

Although “retired” from his contract with the Camuzets, he continued to make Clos Parentoux until 1995, when he turned the business over to a nephew by marriage, Emmanuel Rouget.


Mr. Jayer’s father, Eugène, moved to Vosne-Romanée before World War I and pieced together a small domain of about seven acres. In later years Henri and his brothers, Lucien and Georges, added small parcels to the family land and leased others. There are many Jayers in their section of Burgundy, known as the Côte de Nuits, and most of them are involved in making wine. Some have their own labels, some work for others and some, like Mr. Jayer, do both.

Mr. Jayer is survived by his wife, Marcelle Rouget Jayer, and two daughters.

Emmanuel Rouget now tends Lucien and Georges’s vineyards as well as Henri’s. A former auto mechanic, he was brought into wine growing and trained by his uncle. Some years ago, an interviewer asked Mr. Rouget if he had changed anything he had learned from Henri. “We bring in the grapes in plastic containers now, instead of wooden baskets,” he said.

By FRANK J. PRIAL Published: September 22, 2006



Henri Jayer was born in 1922 and died in 2006, by which time he had assumed legendary status. He was not initially planning to be a vigneron but accepted Etienne Camuzet’s proposal that he should look after the Camuzet vineyards during the War, and things developed from there. In due course he planted some vineyards for himself and looked after the vines of his brothers, Georges and Lucien. It is worth exploring the family tree since various other domaines enjoy the Jayer name, albeit without Henri ever having been involved in the winemaking.



Henri Jayer's personal philosophy begun with the observation that 'wine must not be brought up in cotton-wool' and 'let nature go'. He was adamant that one cannot replace artificially elements in a wine which are absent at the start. Tinkering with musts and wine to adjust the results for inadequate fruit is not the way to achieve quality. Jayer channeled his energy and expertise in producing top-class grapes to vinify from vines that are more than 50 years old. Jayer's vinification methods were not particularly unusual but they reminded us that 'wine is for pleasure so one seeks as perfect an equilibrium as possible.'



An Interview with Martine Saunier

Martine Saunier hails from Paris, where she spent her formative years. When Martine was a teenager, she went every summer to stay with her Aunt, who owned a small winery in the hamlet of Collonges near Mâcon. She participated in the harvest every year, following the winemaker Monsieur Camille in the cellar, learning first about fermentation techniques and then how to taste wine. She moved to San Francisco in 1964 and was dismayed at not being able to find quality Burgundy in the market. She eventually met a German Importer in California to whom she suggested that it was a shame that no one would deal with small producers from France, and soon enough she was on her way to her first wine tour of her native France. This was in 1969. She would make recommendations of great little wines that she found in the market to her clients, while working for this company and eventually built up a great reputation for making astute calls with regards to excellent wines, all the while publishing a small hand-typed “newsletter” where the deals were listed with some tasting notes and comments from Martine herself. Once she had built up a good following, she set up her own import company, Martine’s Wines in the small town of Novato in California in 1979. 


 1990 Leroy Chambertin

I have interviewed Martine twice over the course of the past four years specifically for consignments she made with Acker, Merrall & Condit (including this ultimate one), but I have had the pleasure of speaking with her, tasting with her, and eating and drinking with her multiple times before and after. She is an astonishing fountain of knowledge and passion especially about the wines of Burgundy – which can easily be said to be her adopted home - but also about all wine in general. She has completed an incredible testament to this love with the film “A Year in Burgundy” which we are featuring as part of her engagement here and are making available to all of Acker’s esteemed clients. It is a true documentary experience allowing the viewer into Martine’s world of traveling around to her producers’ Domaines, and the personal interaction with which she deals and handles their wines into the American market. There can be no doubt after seeing this film and getting to know Martine that she is a woman of pure unadulterated passion for her work with these wines and with a level of care and meticulousness into their marketing rarely rivaled in the world today.


I spoke to Martine right in the middle of the busy Christmas selling season. I want to start talking about the wines of Henri Jayer, mainly because he is no longer among us. In your opinion, what was he like?

Henri was a great man first and foremost. You meet many people in your life, but only a few really make a deep impact on you. Henri was such a guy. In 1973, one of my Burgundy producers from Chassagne Montrachet, Pillot, came to San Francisco on a tour organized by Alexis Lichine. They had a free afternoon and brought along Henri Jayer to my house. Henri invited me to visit him in Vosne Romanée. In the spring of 1974 I went to visit Burgundy on a buying trip as usual and stopped in Vosne-Romanée specifically to see Henri. We talked about the possibility of me buying some of his wines, but all he had for sale was the recently bottled 1972, which honestly did not have a very good reputation and had been slammed by the press, especially the British. Funny enough most of the 72’s he had were ordered by a British merchant, but he cancelled his order, and to my luck I was able to buy them.


After that, how did you continue to develop your relationship with Jayer?

Well, it was quite a difficult time back then in the 1970’s since there was one poor vintage after another: first 1972, which is where I started, thinking it can only get better from here…then came 1973 which again was panned by the press and then the difficult 1974’s, yet it seemed Jayer made extremely delicious wines every vintage. The 1975’s were tough as nails but far more complex in quality, and the 1976’s were outright delicious. I remember a dinner at a great San Francisco restaurant where Jayer was visiting us, and he wanted to show the 1977 Richebourg. I could not say no, but the sommeliers were anxious. This was supposed to be a tough sell, but after all the sommeliers and restaurateurs tasted these light-bodied, yet suave wines, they were just sold on them. Not many people were that into these Burgundian wines back in those days, but Jayer definitely made a difference, even in those very weak vintages, and he became known for that. Henri made great wines every vintage. I never was disappointed. He was a master!


What was the turning point for you with Jayer then?

Without a question, the 1978 vintage. It was first of all extremely well received in the press in the United States, but then there was no internet or even fax machines obviously, so if you didn’t subscribe to various printed publications, you wouldn’t necessarily know anything of what was going on. In fact, it was the US that really made Jayer’s reputation. I had bought as much wine as Jayer would sell to me and was looking at a big investment, because when I tasted the wine in barrel in December of 1979, I knew it was something extraordinary. In the US, very few people who were serious in wine knew anything about Henri Jayer at the time, so when I received the first cases of the 78’s on a shipment in 1980, I went to sample them in several markets in California primarily. I was showing the 1978 Cros Parantoux to my good customers at Greenblatt’s Deli in Los Angeles. This is a legendary place where all the Hollywood and music people used to buy their wines. One of their top customers was a huge record label executive, and he bought everything he could after hearing about the tasting there and the rave reviews from the staff at Greenblatt’s. He then told all his Hollywood friends and people in the business about this amazing Cros Parantoux wine, and the rest is history. It really started with the 1978 vintage for me.


Cros Parantoux, unlike any other parcel in Vosne-Romanée, is completely linked with Jayer. Why?

In 1945, Henri Jayer entered into a 10-year metayage (crop-sharing) contract with the Mme. Noirot-Camuzet. When that happened, his role was to care for the entire vineyards owned by the old lady and all her property. Henri got 50% of the fruit, which he labeled under his own name and sold mainly in barrel, and the other 50% went to Mme. Noirot-Camuzet. In 1951, Jayer himself was able to buy a small piece of Cros Parantoux, then a completely unknown and largely forsaken Vosne-Romanée vineyard, from a Monsieur Roblot. Then in 1953, old Mme. Noirot-Camuzet offered another small piece of the vineyard to Henri. Henri had now amassed around 45 ares (1.11 acres) of Cros Parantoux. Henri replanted his portion in 1956. In 1959 the old lady Noirot-Camuzet passed away, leaving her estate to her first cousin, Jean Meo, which is how Henri’s relationship with the Meo-Camuzet family started. He made their wines for a long time. In 1970, the sister of Robert Arnoux sold Henri the last available piece of the vineyard. Henri now owned around 72 ares (1.77 acres) of Cros Parantoux. Meo-Camuzet retained around 29 ares (0.71 acres) of the vineyard. They were the only two owners of Cros Parantoux. All these years, Henri had been blending the Cros Parantoux fruit with other vineyards. But in 1976, he created a wine that was about 3/4th from Cros Parantoux, the rest from very delicious Vosne Romanée Village fruit. He saw the remarkable quality coming from Cros Parantoux. 1978 marks the first time that Henri bottled a wine exclusively from Cros Parantoux and labeled it as such. I tasted that wine in barrel twice and then in bottle, and it was and continues to be a remarkable wine. I have put one last magnum of this legend of a wine in this sale, and I will bet it is the greatest wine you can ever taste.


We talked about this last time, but I want to ask you again about the Echezeaux of Henri Jayer and now Emmanuel Rouget. Please tell me more.

OK, we have to go back to the story of Eugene Jayer, who bought a piece of the even-then famous Echezeaux vineyard just outside of the village of Vosne-Romanée. When he passed away, his three sons, Georges, Lucien and Henri inherited his piece of Echezeaux which was split into three parts. Lucien made a wine from his own rows, which later became the Jayer-Gilles holdings. Georges had no interest in viticulture, and therefore Henri was making the Jayer wine from Echezeaux out of 2/3 of the inherited rows. Every year Henri made only one Echezeaux wine from the entire parcel, and once it was bottled, as is required by law, he labelled part of the bottles with his brother’s crest and part with his own. The wine inside the bottles was always the exact same wine, and there is no difference between bottles of Henri Jayer Echezeaux and Henri Jayer for Georges Jayer Echezeaux. The same is true for the Echezeaux made by Emmanuel Rouget for Georges. He is farming the same parcel and doing the exact same practice. One wine, one bottling, 2 different labels, always!


Let us talk about Madame Bize-Leroy and how you met her and started dealing with her wines?

It was in 1986 that I had the pleasure of meeting her, simply because a great collector friend of mine from Los Angeles, who was in Burgundy at the same time as I was, asked me if I would go with him to Maison Leroy in Auxey-Duresses. He was going there with Georges Pertuiset, the famous Sommelier from Lameloise (the 3-star Michelin restaurant in Chagny, Burgundy), and he introduced me to Toto Rageot, the Cellarmaster. He put on a tasting of some of the most marvelous wines I had ever had, and we had a good time there. He mentioned that he thought I was a good taster of the wines, and I told him that I was an importer in the US. The next day I was with my friends at DRC, and the secretary told me to call Madame Leroy immediately. We had an appointment the following Friday in Auxey-Duresses. As she knew of me importing the great wines of Henri Jayer into California, she asked if I could find her a warehouse there. It just so happened that there was one for sale next to mine. In February 1987, she came to California to transfer her wines from the Wilson Daniels’ warehouse in Napa, and she asked me if I could be her importer. I started by importing the Maison Leroy 1985 vintage that summer. In 1988, she bought Domaine Charles Noellat and hired Andre Porcheret, the winemaker of the Hospices de Beaune. Then when she left DRC to found Domaine Leroy that year, I was right there with her, helping her kick off the wines in the US market, which at the time was small compared to the Japanese market. It’s been nearly 30 years and we’re best friends to this day, and she plays a key role in my film “A Year in Burgundy” which really shows the power of this woman, now 82 years old and still going very strong.


There are some very important selections of Domaine Leroy’s greatest hits in this consignment. How did you select them for this?

Well, first of all, I think it is important to highlight the biggest stars of the stable, like in a great horserace. That’s why I have selected the Musigny, the Chambertin, the Richebourg and the Romanée St. Vivant for example, all from great vintages. In many cases, these are fully the best wines of the vintage, totally showing the dedication and style of Lalou through her wines, which are of course completely biodynamically farmed and produced, and like Henri Jayer, never filtered. I have tasted wines that I bought unfiltered from some barrels and then were filtered for another country or importer. The wines are not the same and simply not the same level of quality as they age, so the no-filtering process which Jayer was so famous for (and Lalou followed in the same way) is a very important matter, especially in Burgundy. You also have some of the great village wines she makes, again in a totally different style than if you taste the wines from other producers. You have the Nuits St. Georges, the Pommard and the Volnay, for example, and these are stellar wines, even for what they are, but because of the magic touch of Lalou. They are elevated to a special level which few others can reach.


Finally Martine, what can people expect from buying these wines, and are we going to see this type of consignment from you again in the future?
Let me make this very clear: This consignment is going to be the last of its kind. I will never again be able to select such a fantastic range of Henri Jayer wines, and I literally cleaned out most of my private cellar, especially for the Cros Parantoux wines. I have tasted and drunk so many bottles of this legendary wine, and, of course, I have a few nice bottles left for my own drinking, but this is really most of my Jayer holdings you have gotten here, so take good care of it and enjoy it while you can. As far as the wonderful wines from Lalou, Domaine D’Auvenay is her family home which she inherited from her parents, and I think it has been in the Leroy family for a very long time. The house is really from the Middle Ages! Domaine Leroy is a nice selection for everyone to enjoy that makes it possible for some to acquire a nice cross section of these amazing wines. I do love drinking Domaine Leroy wines and will continue to do so, but I have enough for myself still, so this for sharing. The wines of Emmanuel Rouget take over right where Jayer’s wine leaves off, and I think they’re often at a level fully on par with some of the wines Henri made in his day. There are also the rest of my wines of Perrot-Minot, who I no longer handle, and Meo-Camuzet as well, and in addition just a touch of Pegaü wines that I do love very much. Altogether I am very happy for you to take these wines and sell them in Hong Kong again, since I have always enjoyed them in America and with great American collectors, now comes the turn of the Chinese collectors.

Inside information

Historic Burgundies from winemaker Henri Jayer stretching back more than four decades led a wine auction by Sotheby’s (BID) in London, accounting for four of the top five lots and beating presale estimates on strong Asian demand.

Eleven bottles of Jayer’s 1970 Richebourg sold on July 17 for 72,850 pounds ($110,800) including a buyer’s premium, compared with an upper estimate excluding fees of 34,000 pounds, according to a Sotheby’s statement. A four-bottle lot of Jayer’s Vosne-Romanee 1990 Cros Parantoux and a half-case of the 1993 each sold for 37,600 pounds while a magnum of 1978 Richebourg fetched 28,200 pounds.

Demand for rare Burgundies has driven auctions this year, with Asian buyers acquire all of the top four Jayer lots and seven out of the top 10 lots at the sale. Chinese and other collectors have focused more on that region than on the Bordeaux wines which powered a market bull run in 2010 and 2011.

“The Asians are still very strong buyers,” Stephen Mould, head of Sotheby’s European wine department, said by telephone. “The online bidding goes from strength to strength.”

Jayer, who died in 2006, has become one of Burgundy’s most sought-after wine-makers. His Cros Parantoux, from a 2.5-acre (1 hectare) premier cru vineyard that was an artichoke field in World War II, has acquired trophy status, with a case of the 1985 vintage fetching as much as HK$2.06 million ($265,600) at a Christie’s International Plc sale in Hong Kong in February 2012.



7 different wines with 73 vintages

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