Jessiaume has been a Santenay domaine since 1850, when the Jessiaume family started making wine there. The 37-acre estate includes important Premier Cru parcels in Les Gravières; the Beaune Premier Cru Les Cent Vignes; the Volnay Premier Cru Les Brouillards; and the Auxey-Duresses Premier Cru Les Ecusseaux. The estate is today owned by David Murray, a Scottish entrepreneur and former owner of the Rangers Football Club. Under Murray’s leadership Jessiaume in 2008 also became a negociant. As a negociant, Maison Jessiaume produces Grand Crus from Chambertin, Mazis-Chambertin, Clos de Vougeot and Echezeaux, among other appellations. Village wines are also made. Wine Advocate’s reviewer wrote that several Grand Crus are “worth seeking out,” and a couple of the Premier Crus “punch above their weight. I have a feeling that this is a producer that has more to offer in the future….”
Santenay is the southernmost appellation in the Côte d’Or. The appellation includes the communes of Santenay and Remigny and it has 813 vineyard acres. Both red and white wines can be made within the Santenay appellation, though in practice about 85% of the wine produced here is red. Pinot Blanc may be used in white wines, though most white Santenays are 100% Chardonnay. Though there are no Grands Crus, Santenay boasts 12 Premiers Crus. Among the best Premiers Crus vineyards are Clos de Tavannes, La Comme, Les Gravières and Le Passe Temps. Robert M. Parker Jr. has written that “good Santenays share a robust, tannic, earthy character with a bouquet that suggests cherry and strawberry fruit intertwined with the smell of sautéed almonds.” Clive Coates has noted that the white wines of Santenay “should be crisp, medium-bodied and fruity, less racy but fuller than Saint-Aubins, perhaps with a touch of spice…”
This white variety originated in Burgundy, but is now grown around the world. Its flexibility to thrive in many regions translates to wide flavor profile in the market. Chardonnay is commonly used in making Champagne and sparkling wines.