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!

In summary

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

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