Wines of Henri Jayer

Overview

The wines of Henri Jayer (1922 – 2006) produced from his tiny parcels in and around Vosne-Romanee are acclaimed as the best Burgundy that one could find.

The mystique is further enhanced by the miniscule number of bottles of his wines that is available on either the auction or retail market. The main bottlings are the legendary Richebourg, Echezeaux, and Cros Parantoux. However, buying his wines can be confusing because he also produced wines for his brothers, Georges and Lucien, and some were also bottled in the name of his nephew, Emmanuel Rouget, to whom he eventually devolved his holdings.

Henri Jayer Selection


About The Wine

Making wine for Meo-Camuzet (formerly Noirot-Camuzet)

In 1945, Henri entered into a 10-year contract with Madame Noirot-Camuzet. In exchange for caring for all her vineyards, he received 50% of the harvest and the remainder went to Madame Noirot-Camuzet. From his share, he produced wines which he labeled under his own name.

In 1959, Madame Noirot-Camuzet passed away and left her estate to her cousin, Jean Meo. The domaine became Meo-Camuzet. Henri continued to make wine from fruits of the Meo-Camuzet vineyards in Richebourg, Vosne-Romanee, Les Brulees and Nuit-Meurgers.

The original 10-year contract was extended until 1987 when Henri ended this share-cropping relationship with Meo-Camuzet. When Jean-Nicolas Meo, the son of Jean Meo, took over the operation upon Henri’s retirement, Henri remained as his consultant. Although Henri no longer produced the wines of Meo-Camuzet, Jean-Nicolas adopted Henri’s winemaking methods.

The mystique is further enhanced by the miniscule number of bottles of his wines that is available on either the auction or retail market. The main bottlings are the legendary Richebourg, Echezeaux, and Cros Parantoux. However, buying his wines can be confusing because he also produced wines for his brothers, Georges and Lucien, and some were also bottled in the name of his nephew, Emmanuel Rouget, to whom he eventually devolved his holdings.

Cros Parantoux

The undisputed star of Henri’s wines is those produced from Cros Parantoux, a vineyard in Vosne-Romanee. This small premier cru lies above Richebourg and alongside that bit of Richebourg known as Les Veroilles. It comprised of a very thin layer of clay limestone soil sitting on a bed of rock. The soil is very poor, it is very rocky and very cold. These conditions make for a very good natural acidity. The whole area is only 1.01 hectares and Henri owns about 72% of it with Meo-Camuzet owning the rest.

As is customary in Burgundy, Henri built up his holdings in Cros Parantoux piece by piece. He purchased a small piece in 1951 and acquired another piece from Madame Noirot-Camuzet in 1953. In 1956, Henri re-planted his holdings at Cros Parantoux. In 1970, Henri bought the last available piece of the vineyard and this brought his total holdings to 0.72 hectares. In 1996, this property was ceded to his nephew, Emmanuel Rouget.

Prior to 1976, Henri blended the Cros Parantoux fruit with other vineyards. In 1976, he created a wine which was 75% Cros Parantoux and the rest from a very delicious Vosne-Romanee Villages fruit. He saw the remarkable quality of Cros Parantoux and Henri bottled a wine exclusively from Cros Parantoux in 1978. This was the first vintage labeled as Cros Parantoux. Henri produced Cros Parantoux from 1970 until 1995. For each vintage, he produced about 3,500 bottles.

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