Domaine Henri Jayer in Vosne-Romanee earned its reputation as one of the stars of Burgundy under the tutelage of the late Henri Jayer, who died in 2006. Though the domaine is only about 20 acres in size, it produces rich, opulent wines that impress collectors and wine writers. Jayer himself became a winemaker almost by accident. During WWII he was asked to take care of the vineyards of M. Camuzet, then mayor of Vosne. He later earned a degree in viticulture at the University of Dijon and became the winemaker for two of his brothers, Georges and Lucien. Henri Jayer’s wines began earning attention in the late 1970s when he changed in vinification methods and began de-stemming the grapes, as well as using new oak. He also quit filtering his wines. Today the domaine is run by Emmanuel Rouget, Jayer’s nephew.
Vosne-Romanée is the most prestigious appellation in Burgundy. Its 449 acres of vineyards are in and around the village of Vosne-Romanée and they include renowned Grand Cru vineyards which produce some of the world’s most coveted – and costly —wines. The Grands Crus are Richebourg, La Romanée, Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Saint-Vivant and La Tâche. The Grand Crus Échezeaux and Grands- Échezeaux are actually located in the neighboring village of Flagey-Échezeaux, but legally they can be sold under the Vosne-Romanée appellation. There are also seventeen Premier Crus in Vosne-Romanée. Wine writer Clive Coates has called Vosne-Romanée “the greatest Pinot Noir village on earth” and notes that the appellation’s style “is for wines which are rich, austere, sensual, masculine and aristocratic.”
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.