The Hautes Côtes, even to the non-wine lover, is a beautiful spot to visit. After the excitement of travelling through the myriad of world-renowned villages below, it is something of a relief to head up into the hills. Although so close to the wine capital of Burgundy you could be on a different planet; the beautiful, wild, rolling and windswept hinterland is home to many species of wildlife, and the vineyards are interspersed with wildflower meadows.
A third of the villagers in the charming little village of Échevronne earn their living from the vine and it is here, tucked away up a half-forgotten valley a few kilometres northwest of Beaune, that you will find Domaine Jacob. Approximately 40 acres in size, this family domaine is mainly planted with the Pinot Noir grape for the production of red burgundy, and is run by Jean-Michel and Christine Jacob, and Jean-Michel’s sister Chantal.
The Jacobs constantly strive to improve the quality of their wines and their efforts have not been in vain: Master of Wine and Burgundy expert Clive Coates describes Domaine Jacob as one of the ‘rising stars in the Burgundy firmament’. Further, Oz Clarke in his Pocket Wine Book 2008, states that Jean-Michel is ‘an excellent producer, well worth seeking out’.
The domaine’s most prestigious vineyard is the Beaune Premier Cru Les Avaux and it is reserved exclusively for 3D Wines’ Partners. Beaune has a number of Premiers Crus but Les Avaux is one of the most renowned, as part of this small vineyard is owned by the Hospice de Beaune and figures in the annual world-famous wine auction. The Jacobs have been making our exclusive wine from their tiny part of this famous plot since 1994 and there is no doubt that Jean-Michel displays a deft touch in the winery. His wines are elegant and harmonious and come about through good viticulture and minimal handling in the cuverie.
The wines of Beaune are known for their delicate softness and floral aromas. They can age gracefully and develop into some of the most succulent and appealing burgundies of all. Les Avaux has a lovely summer fruits bouquet encompassing strawberry, raspberry and cherry, with just a hint of vanilla imparted by the oak barrels that are used for ageing. On the palate there is a definite blackberry note along with ripe strawberry that lingers long after swallowing. The tannins in this wine are always soft and silky, making it hard to resist in its youth, but your patience will be rewarded if you can cellar a few bottles to be enjoyed five years from the vintage.