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93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound
...quite aromatically subdued, revealing only glimpses of spicy, almost entirely secondary aromas yet the flavors are exuberant and intensely spicy as well with plenty of unresolved structure that is rather rustic. Still, the sap and velvet on the finish largely buffer this impression and this is by a long way the best bottle I have ever had of this wine since it has reached maturity. (1/2004)
91 points Wine Spectator
Very firm, ripe and focused, still fairly tannic but generous, with its cherry and floral aromas and flavors, long... (5/1991)
The wine-growing village of Flagey-Échezeaux lies in the " Plain ", so-called, between Vougeot and Vosne-Romanée in the Côte de Nuits. Facing east, the Grands-Échezeaux vines are a prolongation of Musigny following the North-South axis of the Côte, but more regular and less broken in their layout. At the bottom end, the " Climat " known as La Combe d'Orveau separates them from Musigny. The Échezeaux vineyards, for their part, divide the Clos de Vougeot from the Premier Cru vines of Vosne-Romanée.
Grands-Échezeaux and Échezeaux both date their Grands Crus AOCs from July 31, 1937. Like the Clos de Vougeot (from which they are separated only by a wall), they were founded by the monks of the abbey of Cîteaux and date from the 12th and 13th centuries. Their name derives from chesaux, a word of Gallo-Roman origin meaning a group of dwellings, presumably referring to an ancient hamlet.
Belonging geologically to the Jurassic (175 million years BC), the GrandsÉchezeaux vineyards are fairly homogeneous and lie close to the upper part of the Clos de Vougeot. Gradient: 3-4%. Soil: clay-limestone overlying Bajocien limestone. Altitudes: 250 metres. The Échezeaux Climats have more diverse soils (largely bajocien marls with pebbly overlay). Altitudes vary from 230 to a little over 300 metres (13% gradient at mid-slope). Up-slope, the soil is deep (70-80 cm). Gravels, red alluvium, yellowish marl, etc., make up quite a complex mosaic.
Red: its colour is ruby, shading towards the darker tones of magenta and purple. Its bouquet is redolent of animal, spice notes, underbrush, and prune, evolving with age towards musk, leather, fur and mushroom. When young, its aromas suggest rose, violet and fresh cherry. On the palate, there is a heightened attack and an agreeable balance between supple tannins and fully-rounded flavour. The dense texture and tight grain of these wines fully open after 4-5 years in the cellar.
Wines so powerful and full demand to be matched with dishes of the same calibre. Virile, four-sided tannins cry out for roast lamb, rib steak, or joints of game. Autumn and winter dishes in the right setting match the profound and meaty personality of these great wines : braised beef or pork, for example, or any other good red meat. Fine, whole-milk, soft-centred cheeses will also do them proud.
Serving temperature : 15 to 16 °C.
In 1945, Henri seized an opportunity when he was offered a 10-year sharecropping contract by Madam Noirot-Camuzet. The Camuzets were a notable family in Vosne-Romanee and had parcels in Richebourg, Les Brulees (Vosne-Romanee) and Aux Murgers (Nuits-St-Georges). In exchange for caring for her vineyards, he received 50% of the harvest and the rest went to his landlord. This contract was renewed a number of times until it was terminated in 1987. In 1951, Henri acquired his first plot in Cros Parantoux which at that time was populated by bush and artichokes. He laboriously replanted the vineyard and piece by piece, he acquired 0.71 hectares in his name which he eventually passed to Emmanuel Rouget. To the present day, the only other owner of this prized premier cru is Meo-Camuzet with the remaining 0.3 hectares.
Prior to 1978, Henri bottled very little of the wine that he made but after that, he bottled under his own label wine that he made from his shares of the grapes from the family domaine and the sharecropping arrangement. From 1978 to 1987 (when the sharecropping arrangement ended), there were Henri Jayer bottlings of Richebourg, Les Brulees (Vosne-Romanee) and Aux Murgers (Nuits-St-Georges). From 1978 to 2002, his label graced the bottles of Cros Parantoux. With these 4 labels, if it says Henri Jayer, you don’t have to think further (except to see whether it is a fake). This is the simple part of the story.
Not so with the Echezeaux bottles. The confusion started when Henri’s father died leaving behind a modest domaine. The conventional thesis is that the domaine was inherited by his 3 sons in equal shares and Henri made the wines for his brothers. However, the facts do not support this. Let’s deal with the inheritance. As we have been unable to uncover what the father owned when he died, we have to work backwards from what we know today. The present day estate, now wholly in the hands of Rouget, consists of 1.43 hectares in Echezeaux, 0.26 hectares of Les Beaumonts, 1.2 hectares of village Vosne Romanee and of course, Cros Parantoux. During Henri’s time, he had 0.33 hectares in Echezeaux, 0.1 hectares of Les Beaumonts and bits from which he made a village Vosne Romanee and Bourgogne. As for Georges, he has his own label for Echezeaux and a village Nuits-St.-Georges. Sightings for wine with a Lucien Jayer label are so rare that one doubts whether he ever made any meaningful amount of wine. You may well ask: why did Henri only have 0.33 hectares in Echezeaux and not 0.47 if it was shared equally? Why did Georges not have any Les Beaumonts and village parcels? The more likely scenario is that the 3 brothers did some horse-trading and the domaine’s parcels were not split up evenly. For example, Henri may have decided to take a smaller but better piece of Echezeaux, that is, Les Cruots ou Vignes Blanches and Les Beaumonts leaving Georges and Lucien with Les Treux and other bits.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|7 690€ +15.8%||6 643€ -2.2%||6 790€ +3.6%||6 555€ +1.0%||6 490€ +179.6%||2 321€ +68.2%||1 380€ +205.3%||452€|