About this WINE
For years Domaine Jacques Prieur was in a slow and seemingly terminal decline, with quantity rather than quality being the byword. The guardian angel arrived in the form of Mercurey-based négociants Antonin Rodet in the late 1980s. Rodet's oenologist, Nadine Gublin, has been the driving force behind the renaissance in quality which now rivals the very finest producers on the Côte. The Domaine is today owned 70% by the Labruyère family and 30% by the Prieurs.
The roots of the revival lie in the vineyards where fewer pesticides and herbicides are being used and, come harvest time, there is now a far more rigid selection of the best fruit. The results are a revelation. They have an exceptional range of grand cru vineyards – including the grandest of the grand, such as Montrachet, Musigny and Chambertin. But perhaps because the domaine’s holdings are dispersed up and down the Côte that it has not enjoyed the first rate reputation that one might have expected. The wines are certainly good, but perhaps just short of the flair which would place them in the very top division. There is a conscious decision to pick relatively late and make flamboyantly full-bodied wines.
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
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.