2008 Moulin a Vent Clos du Carquelin, Ch des Jacques

Louis Jadot

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Average Score 90.0

The 2008 Moulin-a-Vent Clos du Grand Carquelin mingles cherry, blackberry and red currant on an enticingly fragrant, vanilla-tinged nose and juicy, silken palate underlain by suggestions of beef marrow and blood pudding. The notes of oak here are merely an (attractive) aromatic embellishment, and this finishes with length, strength, and saliva-inducing salinity, tactile spice and mineral impingement adding invigoration. It should be worth following for at least half a dozen years. ||Jadot technical director Jacques Lardiere and Chateau des Jacques director Guillaume de Castelnau – for more about whose distinctive aspirations and methodology (including maturation in largely new barrels) please consult my report in issue 184 – have been blessed with a vintage that goes a long way toward validating their approach. All that’s missing, I suspect (granted that I tasted the wines before bottling), is to see how they live up to Lardiere and de Castelnau’s ambitions for age worthiness. Given the quality offered here for the prices – which, frankly, I admire Jadot for having from the outset of this project set at levels that would make a statement, but which have since been rounded down – anyone with an interest in Beaujolais; in the history of French wine; or in red wine value generally, ought to help make history by cellaring a sampling of these amazing wines. Note that beginning with the 2008 vintage, the name of Chateau des Lumieres is being dropped from the Morgons grown and vinified there, which will instead be bottled under the name of Chateau des Jacques. Wine from a parcel of Chenas that Guillaume de Castelnau personally purchased will also be bottled under this label, after it passed muster with a reputedly skeptical Lardiere in blind tastings, though whether this wine will reach the U.S. (it’s in Canada) remains to be seen. The Jadot plan is to routinely bottle separately a portion of wine from each of Chateau des Jacques’s Moulin-a-Vent vineyards, but in some instances (depending on quality and yields of a given vintage) in non-commercial quantities. So for instance, while I have for the record reported on each of their 2008s, I have noted those that were bottled solely for the record. I tasted all of the Chateau des Jacques 2009s – which were harvested rapidly beginning September 18 and none of which exceeded 14% alcohol – as close approximations (closer where the lots were smaller) to their final assemblages, which did not take place until June (with bottling anticipated in September). Jadot vinifies a range of Beaujolais under their regular label – chief among these being a Beaujolais-Villages especially admirable in vintage 2009 – but with that one exception I once again did not have chance to taste that line of wines.||Imported by Kobrand, Inc., New York, NY; tel. (212) 490 9300 Wine Advocate.August, 2010

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