When you sell a wine in France, you sell a piece of history and most of all, a “terroir” : call it an AOC, a “cru” or a “climate” (the word used in Burgundy). But, as most winemakers will tell you, with true or false modesty towards nature, on which their activity so much depends, they owe everything to the grape, their raw material. And for sure, the grape is what is put forward when you read the label of a wine in many countries outside France : you drink a bourgogne or a bordeaux but, when it comes to an american or australian wine, tou will drink a pinot, a merlot or a chardonnay.
Of course the grape variety is important to the wine and many connoisseurs boast abotu being able to recognise it just by the smell. Yet, even the best among them can be mistaken sometimes, as was observed during the last competition to name France’s best sommelier, which ended in Beaune on october the 27th with Jonathan Bauer-Monneret, sommelier of the Spring à Paris, being victorious. In a playful mood, the organizers had the competitors taste red burgundys, made as everyone know with pinot noir grapes. But among three real representatives of this variety, they had hidden a beaujolais, made with the gamay variety that Philippe le Hardi, Duke of Burgundy, once asked to snatch out of his land, calling it “vile and dishonest”.
Anyway, this beaujolais from Château des Jacques was a trap for everyone : even the future french champion thought of a pinot noir. It seems the winemaker’s work has its part in how the wine tastes, finally. And this property being operated by Burgundy’ famous wine trading house Louis Jadot, honour is saved in a way.