Lucien Jacob, Savigny-lès-Beaune Rouge 1er Cru "Les Peuillets"
Lucien Jacob, Savigny-lès-Beaune Rouge 1er Cru "Les Peuillets"

Lucien Jacob, Savigny-lès-Beaune Rouge 1er Cru "Les Peuillets"

Burgundy, France 2019 (750mL)
Regular price$59.00

Lucien Jacob, Savigny-lès-Beaune Rouge 1er Cru "Les Peuillets"

For some years now, the talk of the town (at least the town where Burgundy lovers live) is that top-notch, premier cru Red Burgundy is out of reach for all but the most elite collectors. Well today’s discovery, a perennial SommSelect hall of fame Pinot Noir, virtually screams “not true!” All the silky, lush red fruit, all the savory earth, all the aromatic complexity is right here for the taking, and it still somehow clocks in at less than $60. How is this possible? Turns out that if you don’t need wine to gain thousands of new followers on social media, then you can look to excellent but underrated domaines like Lucien Jacob, and to consistently undervalued terroirs like Savigny-lès-Beaune. We like to think of it as a SommSelect secret, albeit one that is hiding in plain sight. 

In the first edition of “The Wines of Burgundy,” published in 1997, Clive Coates, MW wrote that Savigny-lès-Beaune is a “happy hunting ground for those seeking good, inexpensive Burgundy.” Of course, over the last 20+ years, dramatic increases in global demand, inflation, consolidation, and climate change have conspired to make “good, inexpensive Burgundy” largely a thing of the past. Fortunately, small family-owned properties like Domaine Lucien Jacob are still here to fight the good fight and Savigny-lès-Beaune remains a great destination for value in Burgundy. While high-ticket villages Pommard and Volnay sit immediately to the south and the majestic hill of Corton is just north, Savigny always seems to hide in plain sight, with price tags staying well below those of its more prestigious neighbors here in the heart of the Côte de Beaune.

The story of Domaine Jacob begins in the early 1900s with the grandfather of current proprietor Jean-Michel Jacob. The Jacob family has resided in Burgundy for generations, but their sterling reputation was originally built not on grapes and wine, but rather berries and liqueur. Jean-Michel’s grandfather saved his earnings from growing framboise (raspberries) and cassis (black currants) in the hills of the Hautes-Côtes-de-Beaune and eventually selling their spirits to establishments in Lyon and Paris. In time, the family was able to purchase a few small vineyard parcels in nearby Savigny-lès-Beaune. By the 1950s, Jean-Michel’s father, Lucien, was expanding the family’s vineyard holdings and making wine a focus. Today, Jean-Michel continues the growth of the family’s acreage in Burgundy with recently purchased vineyards in Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses, and Gevrey-Chambertin. 

After almost a decade of experience with Domaine Jacob’s wines, we feel confident in my conviction that wines originating from the family’s “home” vineyards in Savigny-lès-Beaune (most notably, today’s Premier Cru “Les Peuillets”) are their most consistently delicious and cellar-worthy creations. Jacob’s ripe and prolific crop in 2018 was farmed sustainably and manually harvested at low, Grand Cru-level yields. In the cellar, the grapes spontaneously fermented in concrete vessels before maturing for 15 months in mostly used Burgundy barrels. As always, it was bottled unfined. 

For me, “Les Peuillets” displays old-school Burgundian pedigree with a slightly more fruit-forward approach; the texture is smoother, softer, with less rusticity but without losing that hint of meaty sauvage for which this village is known. It’s a perfect wine to marry the needs of old school Burgundy lovers with those of more modern Pinotphiles. Meaning, there are plenty of plush, juicy flavors in this wine but it never once loses its focused sense of mineral tension and freshness. Each sip provides seamless, unapologetically lush pleasure with notes of kirsch, black raspberry, ripe plum, and purple flowers alongside damp moss, sweet spice, and orange peel. At four years old, it has just entered its prime where it will stay for the next five to ten years. Enjoy!

Lucien Jacob, Savigny-lès-Beaune Rouge 1er Cru "Les Peuillets"

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