|When describing wine, Professor Emeritus of Oenology at the University of Toulouse, Pierre Casamayor speaks of a “menage à trois, a subtle interaction of soil, grape varietal and natural conditions. Man is the composer of this natural symphony that needs to be orchestrated… and signs each piece,” he says.|
Aiguillettes of French Duck Breast with Manuka Honey Liqueur and a Duet of Asparagus paired with Maison Louis Jadot wines: Orient Express restaurant at the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi.
Earlier this month at a paid-for wine dinner at the Orient Express at the Taj Palace Hotel in Delhi, I heard a similar sentiment expressed by Nicolas Dewé, Export Manager of Maison Louis Jadot. He likened the production of wine to an orchestra where the soil was the composer; the grape the musical instrument; and the wine, the music.
But the music can only be played when the bottle is opened. And what music! when the wine is from the House of Louis Jadot!
Maison Louis Jadot produces 150 wines. We tasted four delicious examples that night. The food was excellent and beautifully presented, even though the connoisseurs among us didn’t think it was the perfect match. I won’t go through the menu in detail because ultimately it was the wines that stole the show.
With extensive vineyard holdings throughout France’s Burgundy region, Maison Louis Jadot ranks among the premier producers and negociants of the Burgundy wine variety. Louis Jadot’s list of well over 100 labels presents a unique collection of “premier cru” and “grand cru” appellations. (Grand cru is the highest classification for the Burgundy region, followed by premier cru).
Over a four-course meal, we drank ¬Maison Louis Jadot Pouilly Vinzelles Château de Loche 2000, an elegant, classically structured chardonnay with a whiff of vanilla that tasted of ripe, tropical fruit flavours with a touch of oak. This was followed by a lovely Puligny-Montrachet premier cru Les Perrieres, a wine with a mellow roundness and a fragrant, intense bouquet. The wine’s beautifully balanced acidity with a soft and lingering finish worked wonders with my entrée – oven cooked Chilean sea bass with fresh spinach and braised leeks.
Next came the spicy Maison Louis Jadot Aloxe-Corton 1998 with its concentrated cherry and black currant fruit flavours balanced with friendly tannnins, which accompanied the main course or plat principal of French Duck Breast with Manuka Honey Liqueur and a Duet of Asparagus.
The last wine we drank was the most magical – a premier cru Chambolle Musigny Les Charmes 1999 – an exquisite example of an elegant, supple wine with delicate, floral and fruity aromas. The tannins were silky and velvety, but then – came the power!
Nicolas Dewé, Export Manager, Maison Louis Jadot
|Four memorable wines, but only a teaser of what you can expect from this great house, said Dewé. Burgundy is not always easily accessible, needing a few years before you can get the most pleasure from them. These wines start to become great wines after five years, Dewé noted.
If you want to sample them for yourself, the wines are imported by Brindco and available at most five star hotels in the country.
Produced from pinot noir grapes on a variety of terroir, Burgundy was once considered unreliable and unpredictable. But, no longer. The wines being produced today have never been better or more consistent. Not everyone likes Burgundy, however, especially if you prefer fleshy fruit flavours and less acidity. I loved the wines and was completely won over by their delicacy, elegance and complexity.
Burgundy is a complicated region with its confusing appellations that sound so similar but are very different. Don’t try understanding it. Leave that to the erudite expert.
Just open a bottle of Maison Louis Jadot and hear the music!
– Reva Singh