2017 Domaine Philippe Jouan, Morey-Saint-Denis, Vieilles Vignes, Red Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, France.
The classically pure, raw and seductive 2017 Old Vine Morey-Saint-Denis by Philippe Jouan is exactly what the doctor ordered for small family celebration with deep earthy dark berry, cherry and plum fruits, accented nicely by an array of spices, black tea, floral notes, burnt orange, a touch of leather, smoky mineral and soft wood shadings, making for an outstanding Pinot Noir experience, showcasing old world charm, delicacy and elegance. I took a flyer on this vintage, which is not overly admired and with a domaine I had not had, though I had heard nice things about, and I was richly rewarded and this wine way over delivered for the price I paid, which was just over fifty bucks on pre-sale. Still firm and tight when I pulled the cork, the 2017 Vieilles Vignes Morey-St.-Denis from Jouan started a bit muted and with a whiff of reduction, but once open it blossomed wonderfully and was beautifully seamless with its vinous medium bodied palate exceeding my expectations and the aromatics really coming alive with beautiful perfumed crushed flowers along with some savory elements that added to the complexity to this fine effort, I only wish I had bought a case! I am a fan of this village and the terroir influences in these basic Morey-Saint-Denis AOC wines which can rival much more costly Premier Crus in places like Gevry-Chambertin and or Vosne-Romanne, and this wine didn’t disappoint.
Philippe, who took over from his father Henri, has been in charge of the domaine since 2004 and has turned this under the radar winery into something of an enthusiasts cult label, since the wines here are way under priced confiding the quality in the glass, as I discovered here with his Old Vine Morey-St-Denis. The techniques in the cellar, from what I understand, are little changed since the domaine started, Philippe goes with 100% de-stemmed (all sustainably grown) grapes, gentle extractions, cool fermentation(s) and employs a minimal amount of new wood across his collection of small lot bottlings. Jouan’s wines are not as inexpensive as they were, with prices now rising 10 to 20% with each of the last few vintages releases, mainly it is the problem of less wine available due to tighter yields and secondary, a much bigger demand for them, though still excellent value for what is delivered to the glass. I have been told that Jouan’s Passetoutgrain (Pinot Noir/Gamay) and the Coteaux Bourguignons (100% Pinot Noir) are the screaming deals and I was able to find the Coteaux Bourguignons, which I find report on in due course, but I can say at under $30, it should be on your must try list, as should this Morey-St.-Denis bottling, that comes 40 plus year old vines set on a mix of red-brown clay with small rocks and limestone soils, part of the terroir that serves it so well, even at the near hundred dollar per bottle price the 2019 is at, especially since the vintage is wildly hyped as Pinot lovers year in Burgundy!
($75 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive