Thursday, December 18, 2008

Henri Jayer, Meo Camuzet & Emmanuel Rouget - what's the connection

These 3 producers often seem intertwined together and spoken in the same breath. What is the relationship here? Well, another walk down history is in order.

Henri Jayer was born in Vosne Romanee in 1922. In the late 1930's Henri helped his father Eugene tend the vineyards and in 1942 married Marcelle Rouget. Right at the end of WWII, Henri Jayer made a deal with the Camuzet family to tend their Premier Cru and Grand Cru parcels and produce wine for them. The catch was that Henri would keep 50%  under his own labels. Among these vineyards were Echezeaux, Richebourg and the famed Cros Parantoux 1er Cru.

 Cros Parantoux was born in 1978 solely due to the efforts of Henri Jayer and alot of dynamite!! Location-wise it is sandwiched in between "Le Barreaux" on top, Richebourg below and "Le Petite Mons" to the left of it.  Stylistically it has more than a passing resemblance to Richebourg.

Starting in the late '80s Jean-Nicolas Meo started working the Meo-Camuzet plots under Henri Jayer's tutelage. In the mid '90s due to the absurd French Pension laws, Henri Jayer ended up renting out most of his vineyards to his nephew - Emmanuel Rouget.  While Henri Jayer is said to have retired by the late '90s - he did produce bottles with his own label a little bit longer after that ( up until 2001). At the same time, it is rumored that he occasionally lent a helping hand to his newphew - uncle Henri just couldn't really retire. Having tried several of Rouget's wines over various vintages and vineyards. I am convinced there are some "special" Rouget bottles.... often in unexpected/challenging vintages.

So there you go - Jayer, Meo-Camuzet and Rouget - that's the connection.

Oh yeah and one last thing - The winehunter is back!!!

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