BOURGOGNE DE CHAPITRE. 1980. – JAFFELIN
by Paul Kalemkiarian Sr | March 1983
The well known firm of Jaffelin of Beaune, France, (capital of Burgundy), is a typical example of the phenomenon of négociant-éleveur. To my knowledge, we do not have the equivalent profession in our country. We might have a few negotiants, but no négociant-éleveurs. So what is this all about?
A négociant, is basically a wine distributor who selects wine from different vintners and markets them under his own label. Basically he negotiates for wine. The négociant-éleveur goes one step further; in fact, maybe a few steps further. He elevates the wine he negotiates for! He has ageing cellars, he has blending vats, and he has a palate. He really is the extension of the winemaker.
A skilled négociant-éleveur can put together a great wine because he “cherry-picks” the elements from various vintners, blends them to his taste, and ages them as he sees fit. Louis Trebuchet, director general of the house of Jaffelin is one such person. His firm, founded in 1816, continues to do this in the 13th Century buildings of the Chapter of Collegiale Notre-Dame Canons, at Beaune.
Jaffelin is a small firm, but it is well known in France for its fine wines. The label carries a reputation of consistent quality.
It is not customary for French Burgundy to carry the varietal designation of the grape on the label. This is being done now to accomodate the American market. Most all red wine from Burgundy is Pinot Noir anyway, but we are used to seeing it say so. The essence of Burgundy is this noble grape. At its best it has been described as “the unmitigated joys of the experienced taster…distinct and penetrating taste—silky texture—smoothness which by comparison makes some of the other great red wines of the world seem rough…great breed and distinction, great power.” I encourage you to set off on a pilgrimage of discovery. This simple yet very good bourgogne is a beginning.
Our wine is bright red in color, with an assertive Pinot Noir aroma. The varietal character is text-book quality. It has a medium body, very fruity to start, then soft and velvety in the middle, which evolves into a taste that follows the aroma. Finishes with a slight hint of bitterness that is a plus. Serve with hearty casseroles, meat loaf, or make some Coq au Vin with it and serve it alongside. Room Temp.
Cellaring Notes: Will improve for 5 years.