Maison Louis Jadot is one of the most trusted and revered wine houses in Burgundy’s Côte d’Or. Frédéric Barnier, Jadot’s esteemed winemaker, and his team balance tradition and technology, focusing on the purest expression of each wine’s terroir. These principles of vinification take the lightest possible hand in winemaking, and produce the essence of fine Burgundy. Founded in 1859, the house now owns 528 acres of vineyards, including 280 acres of the Cote d’Or’s most prestigious Premier and Grand Cru plots.
Frédéric Barnier joined Maison Louis Jadot in 2010 as Technical Director, working under the guidance of Jacques Lardière. For 42 years, the legendary Lardière was responsible for the winemaking and bottling of all Maison Louis Jadot wines, and he is considered to be one of Burgundy’s finest winemakers. He briefly retired, then came out of retirement to launch Resonance Wines, Jadot’s new brand from Oregon. Frédéric now leads the winemaking team with the Maison Louis Jadot philosophy: no compromise on quality.
Ensuring Quality in the Cellar
Jadot invests in Burgundy, only purchasing grapes from the highest quality producers where they have a relationship and vinifying the wine on-site rather than buying ready-made wines.
For its Beaujolais and Mâconnais wines, Jadot practices a further, though expensive, practice called réplis, in which wines of a higher appellation are incorporated into a wine bearing the appellation below them. Thus, for example, Jadot’s Beaujolais-Villages will customarily contain a percentage of wines from Beaujolais crus.
PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES
Maison Louis Jadot’s principles of vinification balance tradition and technology, and focus on the purest expression of each wine’s terroir, taking the lightest possible hand in winemaking and a restrained use of oak maturation. For its village level Côte d’Or wines, Jadot practices a further, though expensive, practice called réplis, in which wines of a higher appellation are incorporated into a wine bearing the appellation below them.
Jadot’s cellar practices, including long macerations, the choice of wild yeast when possible for fermentation, fermentation temperature and other winemaking methods are also designed to preserve the character of the fruit in the wines. For both red and white wines, Maison Louis Jadot places great importance on the restrained use of new oak in the aging process. Time in cask and percentage of new oak is dictated differently by each vintage. In keeping with its non-interventionist philosophy, Jadot considers that very great vintages, complete and harmonious by themselves, require minimum contact with new oak.
The Current Generation of Leaders
In 1970, aware that Maison Louis Jadot’s future growth lay in its increasing role as owner-producer, Gagey engaged Jacques Lardière, a brilliant young enologist, as his assistant and eventual technical director. Lardière, now retired, is today acknowledged as one of Burgundy’s finest winemakers, an artist with the reins of nature in one hand and those of technology in the other. In 1984, André Gagey’s son, Pierre-Henry Gagey, joined the firm. He had a strong background in business administration and management, and an inherited knowledge of wines. In February of 1985, the négociant firm of Maison Louis Jadot was purchased by the owners of Kobrand Corporation, sole United States importer of Jadot Burgundies since 1945. In 1991, Pierre-Henry Gagey assumed the position of President, and in 2012 upon Lardière’s retirement, promoted Frederic Barnier to succeed him.
The History of Maison Louis Jadot
Maison Louis Jadot was founded in 1859 by the man whose name it bears, Louis Henry Denis Jadot. The first of his family arrived in Beaune from Belgium in 1794 and soon began purchasing Premier and Grand Cru vineyards. With grape growing a part of his heritage, Louis Henry set about gaining experience first in the cellars, in the evaluation of wines, and then in the vineyards, in the study of viticulture.
As Louis Henry traveled he acquired a faithful clientele, and in 1859 purchased the respected négociant firm of Lemaire-Fouleux and gave the firm his name. After his death, his son, Louis Baptiste Jadot, enthusiastically carried on the work his father had begun. He expanded his export markets as well as his clientele in France, reinvesting his profits in the acquisition of vineyards in some of the finest and most famous Grands Crus and Premiers Crus of the Côte d’Or.
In 1939, Louis Baptiste Jadot died and left control of the firm to his eldest son, Louis Auguste Jadot, who had assisted in the direction of the business under his father since 1931. He opened and greatly developed the new export market of the United States, as well as those of Great Britain, Holland, South America and New Zealand.
In 1954, André Gagey joined Maison Louis Jadot as assistant to Louis Auguste Jadot. When Louis Auguste Jadot died in 1962, survived only by his wife, André Gagey was appointed managing director of the firm. He had full responsibility for its operations, under Mme. Jadot’s ownership and direction. As managing director, Gagey was for nearly three decades responsible for the final decisions over selection and purchase of all grapes and wines bottled under the Jadot label, as well as the care and maintenance of the vineyards within the Jadot estate.