94 insider points
That pivotal moment when an exceptional Burgundy slides across the table? That gets our hearts racing.
Make no mistake. The entire invino team ran to the conference room to taste this Olivier Jouan 1er cru. We very nearly spit when we found out we could get this wine to you for the best price in the marketplace.
Here's all that needs to be said for you Burgundy die-hards: ¾ of an acre and 40-year-old pinot vines. Oh, and Olivier Jouan only makes 3,000 cases a year, total.
I’ll take you inside the bottle so grab a few of these before they are gone, it's a very small allocation.
Thank us later....
Why we love it
The romantic beauty and history of Burgundy isn’t lost on us, but it’s misplaced in Olivier Jouan’s story. Olivier is in dogged pursuit of a very specific goal: exquisite Burgundy. Here, in the historic homeland of Pinot Noir, where this ancient grape achieved its soul, one man is literally handcrafting his vision.
The son of a Smurfit packaging exec, Olivier had just one employee in 2013. And while it’s true that Olivier makes his wine in a 17th century castle (of sorts), it’s not the neat and reinvigorated style of castle you find on the picture postcards of the region. The stonework buildings of Arcenant ramble over the hillside above a menacing looking church. There’s no cell service, there are no road or building signs. It’s a working castle estate.
The cold temperatures at this altitude makes vinification a challenge. But it’s worth it for Olivier. Harvesting from vineyards held by his family for 6 generations, Olivier makes this wine himself. And he’s the first in his family to do so. In the work-a-day courtyard, behind an unmarked entry gate on an unmarked stone road in a sprawling stone housing estate, Olivier toils to produce wines that compete with the best in the world.
And it is damn good. Burghounds rejoice! We certainly are.
The Morey-Saint-Denis is dark and loaded with brambly rich berries, black currant, spice, leather, vanilla and farmland. There are beautiful tannins in this pinot that coat the tongue and make it complex from the robust aromas to every sensation on the palate. There’s a touch of fruit in the fore palate, great acidity to balance, a lush mid palate full of leathery spice and that lingering finish of good ol terroir.~James
Sixth-generation Morey-Saint-Denis grower Olivier Jouan became the first in his family to make wine commercially in 1999 after completing studies at the Lycée Viticole (aka La Viti) in Beaune. Even as a teenager, he knew the family domaine was worthy of its own label, as he watched respected négociants such as Bouchard and Drouhin line up each year to buy grapes from his father.
Needing space for production, Olivier and his lovely wife Isabelle moved into a 17th century home with a perfect cellar nestled back into the Hautes Côtes de Nuits. Olivier works his vines by hand organically, but has no interest in attaining any bureaucratic validation. He takes several measures to limit yields and intensify the concentration and Pinot expression of each individual terroir, including green harvesting in summer and a making a strict selection at picking time.
Olivier has parcels in two Morey-Saint Denis 1er Crus, Ruchots and Riotte (next to Hubert Lignier's plot), and an acre of Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin. And his old-vine parcel in the Chambolle-Musigny lieu-dit Les Bussières (just across border from Morey 1er Cru La Bussière) is worthy of 1er Cru status. The Jouan Hautes Côtes de Nuits from 40-year-old vines has remarkable depth for the appellation and is an incredible value. (From French importer Jeff Welburn)
Pair with some rich Duck confit or a vast array of Patés and the stinkiest cheeses you can find like eppoises and camambert.