Jean-François Fillastre, sole vigneron of Domaine Jaugaret, is the most significant unbroken link to the Médoc’s distant past. There are other traditional estates in the region, to be sure, but visiting Jaugaret is like taking a trip back to Bordeaux's very beginnings. This is not so much of a feeling as it is a simple fact. The Fillastres been making wine in Saint-Julien since 1654 (shortly after the Médoc marshes were drained by the Dutch), scarcely deviating from their original methods over the centuries. And the cellar feels like a medieval dungeon; small and dim, with black, moldy walls filled with old barrels and simple iron tools. Quite different from the large, glamorous facilities of nearby estates Ducru-Beaucaillou and Leoville-Poyferré! But if the setting and implements are brutally rustic, the wines are some of the most pretty, pure and poetic in all of France. It’s hard to imagine a more soulful and judicious rendition of Cabernet Sauvignon (80% of the blend) than Jaugaret’s: stonily firm yet vibrant, oozing with aromas of violets, cassis, and mint. How many vintages will Jean-François, who is 78, keep producing? Hard to say; his father handed the reins over in 1983 at age 90! But one thing is clear: when he retires, it will likely be the end for Jaugaret, because Fillastre has no relative to take his place.
What importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant has to say about this wine...
Harvests his “field blend” usually in one or two days. The grapes are placed into a small press and are crushed manually. The cuvaison is long, frequently extending three (3) weeks or more. The wine is then racked into small barrels (only a minor percentage of which are new) to complete the malolactic fermentation and then are left to age in a small, damp underground cellar with minimal racking for approximately thirty (30) months. The wines are never filtered before bottling. The wines of Jaugaret, relying so extensively on Cabernet, are built to last. We purchase approximately four barrels (1200 bottles) of Jaugaret per annum.
Earthy , Fruity , Spicy
This is the wine from a special from no nonsense wine maker coming from a top vintage. Jean-François Fillastre is the steward of this tiny 1.3 hectare estate that has been in the Fillastre family since 1654. His wine making style is very old school, he only uses new oak when he absolutely can not repair one of his old barrels and he is still using the same fermentation tank that is grandfather used. He does not do these things because he thinks it makes for a great story or because it is en vogue, as he has been doing this for what I imagine is four plus decades. The results of his swine making style speaks for itself in that he makes amazing wine that will age for decades upon decades and reminds one of what Bordeaux used to be before score chasing changed everything.