James Suckling, jamessuckling.com
Charles Curtis MW, Decanter (September 2021)
About this WINE
Résonance is Maison Louis Jadot’s first wine project outside of Burgundy since their founding in 1859. The project is led by famed Jadot Winemaker, Jacques Lardière, who takes over 40 years of experience in the rolling hills of Burgundy and applies it in one of the most exciting nascent Pinot Noir regions in the world.
It took several years for the Jadot team to find the ideal location in the Willamette Valley, but their patience paid off and finally they could kick the Résonance project off.
The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a blend of the finest vineyards in the valley and includes grapes from the estate owned single vineyards Résonance and Découverte. The result is a cuvée which offers an authentic representation of the region. Imagine combining the elegance, complexity and crunchy fruit of Burgundy with the benefits of a bit of American sunshine.
While similarities might be drawn between Califonia and Bordeaux, Oregon is very much the American equivalent of Burgundy, with only 5,500 hectares planted in 2004. Since the 1960s a plethora of small growers have shunned the sun further south for the often damp, cool climate west of the Cascade Mountains, seeking out propitious sites to plant their beloved Pinot Noir among the 150-mile Willamette Valley AVA.
Pinot Gris has also taken hold of this corner of the Pacific Northwest; Chardonnay has been less successful due to inappropriate clonal selection. Domaine Drouhin Oregon is arguably the region's top producer, with most of the wine from this region swallowed up by the thirsty North American market.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.