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Date of publication 1 May 2023
Burgundy

JanotsBos

Reading time 6 minutes

It is this fusion of progress and tradition, all the while respecting the terrains, that so defines our style.

What we imbibed together with Thierry Janots and Richard Bos at JanotsBos is almost beyond belief. Because this is not a mere tasting, it is pure theatre.

WHITE / BIODYNAMIC / CHARDONNAY / MANUAL HARVESTING
Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Gunter - Simona

Bur-gun-dy. Three iconic syllables that conjure up images of elegant Chateaus, of cellars blackened by time, of Boulangeries wafting out the scent of freshly baked baguettes and glasses of wine consumed in the shade of a cypress tree.

Burgundy. Without doubt one of the most beautiful landscapes in all France, where the wild nature of the famous Côte-d'Or has been tamed by centuries of cultivation and civilisation.
The name is enough to evoke what has made this historic terrain famous: red and white wines considered to be standards of perfection. A perfection which, as I am yet to discover, I will find upon tasting Saint-Aubin 1er Cru 'En Créot' 2020.

 

Saint-Aubin 1er Cru “En Créot” 2020 is one of the most interesting wines from JanotsBos. You have already received it, but we also recommend you try the others: they are already available for you to sample.

The lifeblood extracted from this land consists of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay: two grapes that, nurtured, cared for and labelled by leathery-fingered vignerons, sparkling-eyed négociants* and all manner of intermediaries in the wine trade, create a multiverse of experiences and sensations unique in all the world.

Place de l'Europe in Meursault is deserted when we arrive. An unseasonable winter wind makes its way under our jackets.

*The négociant is a profession that emerged in France during the 17th century: a veritable guarantor of wine quality, so much so that they are regarded as the intellectual owners of every bottle produced.

Bourgogne - JanotsBos -Meursault
Bourgogne - JanotsBos -Meursault
Bourgogne - JanotsBos -Meursault
Bourgogne - JanotsBos -Meursault

One, two, three messages. No reply.
One, two, three rings. No answer.
Thierry told me he would be there.
The appointment was confirmed.

The gate is open.

“Richard?!!” I shout to the tall man I see leaning over the threshold of the cellar. 
“Ooooh Bienvenu!!” is the reply from Thierry's partner as, with broad strides, he comes towards us. On shaking his hand I know I am in a place that had been marked on the map of my life many years before.

JanotsBos is my “Inception”. 

Just like in Nolan's film, I can say that JanotsBos is THE IDEA that had long ago implanted itself into my subconscious: an unknown producer, whose first wine I tasted in 2009, who opened my eyes to an as yet unexplored and intolerably romantic world.
An imperceptible implant, which grew slowly and matured into a pure desire to explore and share. 

I return to the present and gaze around. The estate reveals itself to us in all its charm, with that unchanging atmosphere that is so very French and the colours that remind us of the Provençal Mas de la Dame.

The beautiful inner courtyard is like an antechamber that every pilgrim seeking asylum must pass through, while the splendid view of a fenced-in vineyard gives us the last ray of sunshine before we descend into the dark bowels of the cellar.

Thierry joins us, and I watch him alongside his partner.

Thierry Janots and Richard Bos, what a pair!
They could perfectly embody two characters born from the pen of some French playwright. Two personalities, both difficult to tame: each the antithesis of the other, and two different but yet complementary backgrounds.

Thierry has worked for well-known wineries such as Louis Latour and Domaine des Comtes Lafon and is a French explosion of energy, conviviality and love of life. It is a challenge to keep up with his pace and his genuine desire to share his passion.
Richard comes from the world of gastronomy in the Netherlands and as he explains the aspects of his work he is calm, meticulous, thoughtful and pragmatic.

They met in 1996, at the Lycée Viticole in Beaune, where they immediately discovered that they shared a love for the wine and food of the Great Burgundy region. Their friendship gave birth to the idea of JanotsBos, which our dreamers turned into reality in 2005, the year they decided to found the Maison.

Their role play, which began many years ago, is enlivened daily by discussions, sacrifices and shared goals.

Accompanied by Thierry and Richard we are about to write the most important chapter of the visit: our journey into the underground Mersault of wine producers.

As we follow Thierry's perpetual gesticulating down the staircase, we are taken to where the bare rock has been dug out to make room for dozens of barrels.
Arriving at the entrance to a tunnel where time and damp have slowly coated the walls and ceiling, we are led inside by our vigneron guides, who bear aloft two dim, swaying lamps to illuminate the way.

Standing before the barrels, we enjoy the chaotic charade enacted by the two owners of the estate, overcome with indecision as to which bottles to let us taste.
Ualà!!” exclaims Thierry once he is satisfied with the endless row of bottles positioned before us.

Like an artist wishing show off the works in his studio, Thierry takes the wine from the barrels with the Wine Pipette and starts pouring it directly into our glasses. You can feel the soul of the wine.
Richard explains: 'Our aim is to carry out 'non-interventionist' vinification.
Everything is based on a rigorous  selection of grape varieties where biodynamic cultivation is favoured. Thierry's arduous task is to unite two millennia of wine culture in Burgundy with the most recent discoveries. It is this fusion, between progress and tradition, respecting the terrains and striving for high quality, that defines our style. Without ever forgetting our core value: AUTHENTICITY.”

Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Winery
Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Winery - Thierry
Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Winery - Gunter
Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Winery - Tasting

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As we literally feel as if we are swimming in a sea of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, I vividly relive the emotions that struck me at my first tasting all those years ago.
This is why we came to Mersault.
This is what I was looking for.

Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Mâcon Vergisson 2019
Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Tasting

Mâcon Vergisson 2019 is so sublime that you'd think it can’t be the first wine they’d give us to taste. True to the Mâcon style, it is lean, elegant and fresh with apple and citrus tones. A floral nose with notes of clementine. On the palate, above all, a lovely salinity. Lots of minerality and freshness on the nose. A generous and powerful wine, crisp on the palate with a long finish.
It is extraordinarily good. It is the white that anyone would be delighted to discover and meet on their way.

Montagny 1er Cru Vignes Longues 2020 on the nose is an abundance of fruit and flowers. Persistent and complex, it has a structure that allows it to be forgotten and opened several years hence. We spend the ten seconds following the tasting in absolute silence. 

With her glass still in hand, Simona wanders among the barrels, peering at their chalk inscriptions. 'They indicate the year of production. - Richard interjects - But we use them sparingly because the wood of the barrel must support the wine, not dominate it."

Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Winery - Barrels

Saint-Aubin 1er Cru “En Créot” 2020.
Here we are! This is the one.
From the 1er cru 'En Créot' vineyard, this is one of the most interesting wines in Thierry and Richard's repertoire. Complex and fresh, it has notes of apple, grapefruit and lime, while the nose also carries a certain red fruitiness. A wine full of energy and beautiful structure. The palate expresses a distinct minerality. As Richard mentioned, at JanotsBos, excessive use of wood is avoided and the focus is on a lean body full of finesse. 

Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Saint-Aubin 1er Cru “En Créot” 2020
Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Saint-Aubin 1er Cru “En Créot” 2020

Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot 2020: at last we meet again. I have been waiting for you since that far-off 2009. Beautifully complex with powerful aromas, who knows how it will evolve at its peak. A hint of floral notes, fresh and crisp apple, anise, fennel and a hint of white pepper with slight woody nuances. We also find flint, vanilla, some candied fruit and a harmonious minerality. Great persistence.

“This is what I was talking about”.

As if seized by an impulse, the unpredictable Thierry rushes off to dive into the most private part of the cellar, only to emerge some minutes later bearing a dusty, unlabelled 'Saint-Aubin 1er Cru 2007'.
One of the first vintages of JanotsBos, one of only 13 bottles left surviving in the cellar. It cannot be described in words.
For those who have the patience to wait for its evolution, it is a window thrown open to the future.

Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Winery - Thierry
Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Winery - Richard
Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Winery - Tasting - Simona
Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Cantina - Tasting - Gunter
Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Cantina - Tasting - Gunter
Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Cantina - Tasting - Gunter
Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Cantina - Tasting - Gunter

What we have drunk here is almost out of place because this is not a tasting, it is pure theatre.

When we step out into the daylight we are thrilled.
We have the feeling of being in an ancient place and we recognise that if we had wanted to recharge our vital energies, we could do it here. 

With a glass of Saint-Aubin 1er Cru in hand, we sit under a cypress tree overlooking the vines disappearing over the horizon in a golden haze, accompanied by the fascinating phonetics of the names Mersault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet.

Bourgogne - JanotsBos - Wines

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