Domaine Lucien Jacob

Jacob-Logo Jean-Michel Jacob w. Neal (2008) Jacob-Beaune-Toussaints
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The grandfather of the current proprietaire, Jean-Michel Jacob, created this domaine based in the village of Echeveronne in the hills above the villages of Pernand Vergelesses and Aloxe Corton. The estate was subsequently, and aggressively, enlarged by Jean-Michel’s father, Lucien, during the 1960s. Lucien was also politically active and served for many years in the National Assembly. We made the acquaintance of the Jacob family through a family connection: Jean-Michel’s sister, Chantal, had married Régis Forey, our long-term grower in Vosne-Romanée. We have now had the delightful privilege of representing the wines of the Domaine Lucien Jacob, run in cooperative fashion by Jean-Michel, Chantal and Jean-Michel’s wife, Christine, since the 1994 vintage.

The domaine originally specialized in growing cassis and framboise in the Hautes Cotes de Beaune and the prosperity occasioned by this type of farming provided the resources to purchase vineyards in the neighboring villages of Savigny Les Beaune and Pernand Vergelesses. Recently, Jean-Michel Jacob has further expanded the family holdings in the Cote de Beaune to include additional vineyard sites in several 1er Cru vineyards in Beaune. The Jacob domaine now owns nearly 15 hectares of vineyards, 7 of which are planted in the Hautes Cotes de Beaune (in and around the village of Echevronne). In the appellation of Hautes Cotes, the vineyards are planted principally to pinot noir with a single hectare planted to Chardonnay. Important holdings also include: 3 ½ hectares of village-designated vineyards in Savigny Les Beaune; 2 hectares in Savigny 1er Cru divided between “Les Vergelesses” and “Les Peuillets”; and, now, the family sharecrops nearly 1 hectare of vineyards in a trio of Beaune 1er Cru vineyards: “Avaux”, “Toussaints” and “Cent Vignes”.

Upon taking the reins of the domaine, Jean-Michel Jacob modified the vinification to produce wines of considerably more structure than those crafted by his father, Lucien. Prior to Jean-Michel’s arrival, the wines were charming with an appealing fruitiness. Jean-Michel has worked to reduce yields in the vineyards and has also extended the cuvaison to bring more backbone to the wines while maintaining the lovely aromatics and elegance that are the hallmark of wines from this part of the Cote de Beaune. A brief period of cold maceration is followed by a cuvaison designed to provide higher extracts of color and ripe tannins. Respect for terroir is a fundamental value at this domaine and the purity of these wines has never been sacrificed in the search for artificial power and depth of color.

Jacob-Hautes-Cotes-de-Beaune-Blanc Hautes Cotes de Beaune Blanc: The plantings of Chardonnay in the hills of Echevronne become this simple but satisfying white. The round and supple texture of this wine belies the reputation of the Hautes Cotes as the home of searingly acidic and underripe wines. Serious work in the vineyards has reduced yields with resulting levels of concentration and ripeness that are rare to find in this appellation. The wine is barrel-fermented and is also aged in barrel (not new). Bottling normally occurs just before the following year’s harvest. There is a mere 600 bottles available for the US market.
Jacob-Hautes-Cotes-de-Beaune-2004 Hautes Cotes de Beaune Rouge: This wine is also sourced from the family’s vineyards in Echevronne. It is a classic red of the area with exuberant red cherry fruit playing in the nose and on the palate. It is vinified in the same fashion as the more important appellations of the domaine: a brief period of cold maceration followed by a cuvaison that extends for about two weeks accompanied by a daily remontage and pigeage. The lot of this wine destined for the USA is usually bottled, unfiltered, after 15 months of elevage in barrel. About four barrels (1200 bottles) are purchased annually for the US market.
Jacob-Peuillets-1998 Savigny-les-Beaune Rouge: This is a classic rendition of this appellation with an expression of a range of seductive red fruits that sit on a base of soft and supple tannins. Elegance, finesse and purity are the watchwords here. Sourced from a series of vineyard sites within the appellation, this wine harkens back to an earlier era in the Cote d’Or when the wines of Savigny were referred to as “chat” (cat) in recognition of the delicate, lithe wines that made this appellation famous. We import four barrels (1200 bottles) of this wine per annum.
Jacob-Peuillets-1998 Savigny-les-Beaune Rouge 1er Cru Les Peuillets: This vineyard sits on a subtle slope on the fringes of Savigny that borders Beaune and leads to the road that curves north to Pernand Vergelesses. The wine is marked by a charming wild, red-berry fruitiness but brings more backbone to its frame than its sister wine at the village level. There are two barrels (600 bottles) reserved for our use in the USA.
Jacob-Beaune-Toussaints Beaune Rouge 1er Cru Les Toussaints: This is the most substantial of the red wines of the domaine. It carries the most color, the most weight and the most structure. Still, it retains the essentially silky, seductive qualities that mark the offerings of this domaine. The vineyard itself is superbly situated in the northern tier of the appellation where much of the best of this appellation can be found. It is encircled by three neighboring 1er Crus: Greves, Cent Vignes and Bressandes. We purchase two barrels (600 bottles) of this wine annually.
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