Domaine Jacques Prieur is pretty much the only family-run Domaine in Burgundy with that many exclusive vineyards. No one in Burgundy has such an impressive list of Grand Cru vineyards like Domaine Jacques Prieur. Musigny, Le Chambertin, Clos de Bèze, Echezeaux, Clos Vougeot, Corton-Bressandes, Corton Charlemagne, Chevalier Montrachet and Le Montrachet.

Domaine Jacques Prieur in Meursault was established in 1870. Like many other estates, they have had its ups and downs over the past century.Jean-Pierre Labruyère bought 70% of the stake in 1988 from the Prieur family, and the remaining 30% is still owned by the Prieur family. Jean-Pierre Labruyère spent a lot of time and money to improve the quality of wine by hiring a new winemaker, investing in new equipments, etc. The quality improved after Nadine Gublin joined the Domaine as the head winemaker in 1990; incredibly Nadine is still the head winemaker at Domaine Jacques Prieur as of 2018.

Edouard Labruyère (owner of Domaine Jacques Prieur) at his Champagne Labruyère vineyard

Changes since 2008

In 2008, the son of Jean-Pierre Labruyère, Edouard Labruyère took over Domaine Jacques Prieur as well as Domaine Labruyère (Moulin-à-Vent), Château Rouget (Pomerol), and Champagne Labruyère. Since his arrival at Domaine Jacques Prieur, he implemented biodynamic practices, increased the cork length from 49mm to 54mm (includes flying to Portugal for quality control), stopped batonnage and introduced 600 litre foudre (large barrel).

In Domaine Jacques Prieur, they generally pick grapes a bit later than other grape growers around, and the wines are fuller-bodied and richer. Since Edouard Labruyère took over in 2008, he decided to pick grapes earlier than normally, giving the wines better balance and fresher acidity.

When I met Edouard Labruyère last week at his dinner, he told me biodynamic practices is not financially logical, as they need to hire 30% more workers in the vineyards and in return get 30% less volume. Nonetheless, Edouard firmly believes treating the vineyard properly is the way to go forward, and he will continue with biodynamic practices.

Edouard Labruyère currently has 22 ha of vineyards across Burgundy, 9 Grand Crus and 15 Premier Cru vineyards, roughly 2/3 Pinot Noir and 1/3 Chardonnay. Edouard also very recently bought 8 ha of vineyards, including 2 ha of Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot which he successfully out-bidded Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy from Domaine d’Auvenay.

Tasting Notes


Whites

Beaune 1er Cru Champs-Pimont Blanc 2015

Jacques Prieur owns 1.41 ha of Chardonnay vines in Champs-Pimont, south-east facing with mineral rich soil (small amounts of iron). Vines are around 24 years old. Champs-Pimont was ravaged by hail in 2013 and 2014, 2015 was a small and lovely harvest. Mellow aromas of subtle ripe tree fruits, olive oil, hints of wood toast. The wine spent around 18 months in oak (23% new oak-light-toast), 100% malolactic fermentation. Quite a textured body with a hint of honey. Drink now to 2022. (80-81/100)

Meursault Clos de Mazeray Monopole 2015

The Clos De Mazeray is one of Jacques Prieur’s flagship village wines, this clay soil rich monopole is located next to the village of Meursault. Generous nose of lemon zest, creamy minerals, buttery roundness and hints of spices. Premier Cru weight without the depth of Gouttes d’Or (not too far from Clos De Mazeray, some heat on the finish. A village outperformance, didn’t expect that from this Domaine. (86-87/100)

Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes 2013

Jacques Prieur owns 1.49 ha of Les Combettes, often an underrated vineyard in Puligny Montrachet. It often shows lovely minerality of Puligny Montrachet as well as the richer shade of Meursault nuts. In 2013 the main challenge for winemakers and grape growers were picking the grapes early enough. Good assertiveness and richness, ripe yellow fruits, citrus, creamy and mineral-y tone. Great drive and power with a subtle oak spice at the background. (90/100)

Montrachet Grand Cru 2005

Avoid 2005 Jacques Prieur Montrachet? Many 2005 white Burgundies are maturing a lot faster than it should, and some are maturing at an alarming rate. This 2005 Jacques Prieur Montrachet is close to fully mature. Pale golden colour, looks like it’s from the late 80s. Ripe apricot, heated stone fruits, hints of sherry tone. Premox… Some Montrachet appear to have a distinctive botrytis aroma, Jacques Prieure is one of them. Full bodied with good acidity for 2005. Flavoursome oak spices and richness. Sadly premox… (No rating)

Montrachet Grand Cru 2011

Jacques Prieur owns 0.6 ha of the mighty Montrachet, densely planted at 14,000 vines/ha. An intense nose of bright tree fruits, ripe stone fruits, white flowers, and a sense of chalk. Very energetic and filled with nuances. Full bodied with great acidity profile, a wine that is bright and fragrant and shows deep complexion on the palate. Around 40% new oak. 2011 may not be as intense as the powerful 2013 and 2014, but it also shows great length and drinks well earlier in life. Terrific lift and roundness. (94-95/100)

Reds

Beaune 1er Cru Greves Rouge 2011

Jacques Prieur owns 1.2 ha of Beaune Greves, one of the finest vineyards of Beaune. Greves means gravel/stony soil. This 2011 Beaune Greves is drinking well already. Showing an elegant nose of pretty red berries, subtle rose petals, exotic spices and fresh raspberries. Nicely done gentle extraction, especially for a vintage like 2011. Fair weight and acidity with hints of stem aroma. Good purity. (83-85/100)

Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru 2007

This Gevrey Chambertin Premier Cru is made with 100% Grand Cru grapes from young vines in Chambertin. The plot of young vines in their Chambertin is 0.49 ha. Note: 2015 vintage onwards the young vines are reintroduced into their Chambertin Grand Cru. Nice bouquet of dark cherry, subtle game and dark spices of Gevrey Chambertin. 2007 was the last vintage where Domaine Jacques Prieur used high percentage of new oak. Since 2008, the percentage of new oak has been reduced. (86/100)

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2008

Jacques Prieur owns 1.28 ha of the lower end of Clos Vougeot, close to the main road. Aromatic nose of red cherry, juicy mixed berries, subtle earth with some whole cluster aroma, good wood toast and spices. Nice elegance and brightness with some dusty tannins. Young but drinking well already. Drink now till 2038. (90/100)

Musigny Grand Cru 1995

Musigny is one of the best vineyards in Burgundy. Musigny can be easily recognised as a Les Amoureuses with more power and masculinity. A good rule of thumb in Burgundy is MMA. Not the combat sport, but ‘Montrachet, Musigny, les Amoureuses’. The 1995 Jacques Prieur Musigny is at a good maturity, intensely floral and deeply complex nose. Prieur’s Musigny parcel is in between Petits Musigny and Echezeaux. It is a wine with great depth and perfume. Grand Cru weight and muscles with feminine perfumes. (94/100)

Musigny Grand Cru 2012

Jacques Prieur owns an interesting plot within Musigny, a 0.76 ha parcel in the southern end of Les Petits Musigny, just above Clos Vougeot and next to Echezeaux. Vines planted in 1965. It wasn’t promoted to Musigny until 1929 and 1989. Whole cluster fragrant. Sexy cherry, ripe red berry with an intriguing sweet perfume tone. Good firmness on the palate with a floral scent, tightly wound with a great potency. Long and silky finish. (94-95/100)

Musigny Grand Cru 2015

Martin Prieur took out a surprise bottle from his cellar after an extensive barrel tasting of 2017 and 2018. 60-70% new oak and 100% de-stemmed. An intense array of dark berry fruit, blackcurrant, smokey gravel and crunchy spices. Inky tannins with good amount of substance. Full on bodied with sweet ripe berries, distinctive 2015 wines. I would probably have guessed a top Echezeaux in blind. Drink from 2030 onwards.

(95/100)


Bonus Bottle

Domaine Labruyère Moulin-À-Vent Le Clos 2011

Tasted blind after a flight of Jacques Prieur wines, intrinsically I assumed this was one of the wines from Jacques Prieur. Well-played Edouard Labruyère… Insanely deep and rich, dark fruits of cassis, blackberry, fresh earth and in-depth wood toast and smoke. Very rich and oaky. Not showing much terroir on the nose, perhaps needs time in the glass. Dark and brooding with tannic backbone. I guessed it was a 2010 Jacques Prieur Corton-Bressandes, never thought a well-made Gamay could be so similar to Pinot Noir! The vines at Le Clos is 110 years old, 1 hectare. Also one-third of the price of Corton-Bressandes. (90/100)

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