2016 Meursault, En la Barre, Domaine Antoine Jobard, Burgundy
Neal Martin - 29/12/2017
About this WINE
Domaine Antoine Jobard
This white-wine focused domaine is renowned for its steely, taut Meursault. Antoine joined his father, François, here in 2002. He assumed sole charge in ’07, after his father’s 50th vintage. Initially, any changes were minimal.
Now, there’s a clear move towards earlier bottling, with two winters in barrel no longer seen as the yardstick. This is both a stylistic choice and a response to warmer and earlier harvests.
All decisions are now taken with a view towards greater flexibility, allowing mor more or less reduction from barrel age as required.
There are more top producers in Meursault than in any other commune of the Côte d’Or. Certainly it is the most famous and popular of the great white appellations. Its wines are typically rich and savoury with nutty, honeyed hints and buttery, vanilla spice from the oak.Even though it is considerably larger than its southerly neighbours Chassagne and Puligny, Meursault contains no Grands Crus. Its three best Premiers Crus, however – Les Perrières, Les Genevrières and Les Charmes – produce some of the region’s greatest whites: they are full, round and powerful, and age very well. Les Perrières in particular can produce wines of Grand Cru quality, a fact that is often reflected in its price. Meursault has also been one of the driving forces of biodynamic viticulture in the region, as pioneered by Lafon and Leflaive.
Many of the vineyards below Premier Cru, known as ‘village’ wines, are also well worth looking at. The growers vinify their different vineyard holdings separately, which rarely happens in Puligny or Chassagne. Such wines can be labelled with the ‘lieu-dit’ vineyard alongside (although in smaller type to) the Meursault name.
Premier Cru Meursault should be enjoyed from five to 15 years of age, although top examples can last even longer. Village wines, meanwhile, are normally at their best from three to 10 years.
Very occasionally, red Meursault is produced with some fine, firm results. The best red Pinot Noir terroir, Les Santenots, is afforded the courtesy title of Volnay Santenots, even though it is actually in Meursault.
- 305 hectares of village Meursault. The best vineyards include Clos de la Barre, Tesson, Chevalières, Rougeot, Narvaux
- 132 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (17 in all). The finest vineyards include Les Perrières, Les Genevrières and Les Charmes
- Recommended producers: Comte Lafon, Arnaud Ente, Coche Dury, Guy Roulot, Jean-Philippe Fichet, Patrick Javillier, François Jobard, Michel Bouzereau
- Recommended restaurant: Le Chevreuil
Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.
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This vineyard, right in front of the house, absorbed a lot of rain during the very wet spring, and the subsequent humidity played a major part in the ensuing frost damage. There was no new oak, as the vintage was too small in volume, but there is good quality, clearly demonstrating the key pillars of the vintage: density, freshness and maturity. Drink 2020-2026.
Adam Bruntlett, Burgundy Buyer
What was formerly Domaine François Jobard became Antoine & François Jobard when Antoine joined his father in 2002, evolving into just Domaine Antoine Jobard when François fully retired in 2007, after 50 vintages in Meursault. The style has evolved only slightly with the change of generation. Antoine bottles slightly earlier (typically after 21 months rather than 24), however the winemaking remains traditional here, with no lees stirring and very little new wood; the wines reflecting an unhurried restraint, competence, dedication and precision, giving them complex and elegant characteristics. Antoine Jobard was on very positive form at our tasting. He suffered big frost losses (70 percent) for his Bourgogne Blanc and village wines, with a 30 percent reduction across the Premiers Crus, but the results – he feels – are classic Burgundy, with everything en finesse. Everything is held over two winters, although Antoine does not intend to keep the wines as reductively as his 2015s, believing the vintage does not have the necessary power, and the wines therefore showed more generously.
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