Domaine du Jaugaret Saint-Emilion 2016

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The petite estate of Domaine du Jaugaret has been in the Fillastre family since 1654. Jean-François Fillastre, the current proprietor, is dedicated to preserving the traditions not only of Jaugaret but of the St. Julien appellation. Stepping into the cellars of Jaugaret brings one back to an era when the Bordelais were modest and the wines were grand. Here is an estate where one finds neither pretense nor hubris just the essence of the appellation.

Jaugaret encompasses a mere 1.3 hectares of vineyards, made up almost exclusively of Cabernet Sauvignon (80%) with some Petit Verdot and Malbec to supplement this classic Médoc structure. The average age of the vines is over 50 years (as of 2011) and some of the Malbec vineyards are in excess of 100 years old. This combination of grape varieties permits Jaugaret to find the ultimate expression of the terroir of Saint Julien, taking advantage of the deep gravel beds and the long growing season that mark St. Julien as a unique and special appellation. The old vines of Jaugaret combined with the unfertile, gravelly soils results in naturally low yields which again provide the wines of M. Fillastre with a concentration virtually unequalled in Saint Julien. Here is a truly unique wine from a gentleman who follows the most classical traditions.

The sad irony is that, in this age of extensive outside investment in the prime areas of Bordeaux married to an obsession with technical control of vinification, the very essence of the terroir of these grand micro-climates in the Médoc, like Saint Julien, is being undermined with the result that the wines of Domaine de Jaugaret are now being rejected for the appellation that they represent so truly and well. Thus, in this tragic moment of standardization, the most “typical” of Saint Juliens is being threatened with being denied the right to claim its origin as Saint Julien! We stand with Monsieur Fillastre in his refusal to “modernize” to satisfy the new “normal”; thus, for those of us who love and admire Jaugaret, the names of Fillastre and Jaugaret will remain synonymous with Saint Julien.

Domaine du Jaugaret Monsieur Fillastre: harvests his “field blend” usually in one or two days. The grapes are placed into a small press and are crushed manually. The cuvaison is long, frequently extending three (3) weeks or more. The wine is then racked into small barrels (only a minor percentage of which are new) to complete the malolactic fermentation and then are left to age in a small, damp underground cellar with minimal racking for approximately thirty (30) months. The wines are never filtered before bottling. The wines of Jaugaret, relying so extensively on Cabernet, are built to last. We purchase approximately four barrels (1200 bottles) of Jaugaret per annum.