Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jacky Truchot and the Human Element

I’ve been on a wee Truchot-Martin kick of late, most of it courtesy of my friend Bill who has to be one of the biggest fans of Jacky Truchot’s wines on the planet. A couple bottles of 2004 Bourgogne, a 2003 Morey-Saint Denis 1er Cru “Clos Sorbés” Vieilles Vignes and the Chambolle below have all gone down the hatch in the last month. Infanticide, you say. Perhaps, I say (although I think the ’04 Bourgognes are better drunk now than later). The problem is trying to save them; the wines are just too plain delicious not to drink.

Run afoul of water damage…. Somehow, the sepia toned stain doesn’t seem out of place with the old school elegance of Truchot’s label. Kind of reminds me of a hidden treasure map.

Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru “Les Sentiers,” Domaine Truchot-Martin (Jacky Truchot) 2004
Price unknown. 12.5% alcohol. Cork. Importer: Weygandt-Metzler, Unionville, PA.
The cloudy, punch-like color of Truchot’s wine makes it look almost like a barrel sample, even though it’s been in bottle for several years now. Aromas of raspberry cream and white pepper lead to a mouthful of soft, sweet, cherry-vanilla fruit. Sounds like a rather modern profile, but this couldn’t be much less modern in style. There’s a tang of sourness wrapped around the whole package, from aroma to finish, and an underlying sense of pure, wild character. This is classic Truchot – light and racy, completely open, expansive and deep.

“Les Sentiers” 2004. Unfined, unfiltered and unclear.

Who makes wine like this anymore? Not David Duband. When I tasted through Duband’s lineup a few weeks ago, I didn’t even put it together that he’d purchased some if not all of Truchot’s land following Jacky’s retirement after the 2005 vintage. Neither produce(d) wines that bear any signs of heavy manipulation, yet Duband’s wines – masculine, dark and perhaps more technically correct – could hardly be more dissimilar from Truchot’s, which are limpid, delicate and sometimes variable from bottle to bottle. Lest you think I didn’t like Duband’s wines, I assure you that’s not the case (although Ms. Feiring didn’t think too highly of them a couple of years back).

The terroir seems to speak clearly in both cases, yet the human element – each man’s voice as it speaks through his wines – renders their end products strikingly different.


Anonymous said...

Interesting, I just had a Les sentiers from a more modern (Domaine Jean-Paul/Stephane Magnien) producer that was complete crap. Tasted like poor Oregon juice with too much oak treatment. I will need to track some of this down.

Joe Manekin said...

It wasn't as bad as the Scott Paul PN, though. Cory you should have told me not to even mess with that one.

McD - will definitely have to seek out some Jacky Truchot, I wonder if Weygandt is national on this?

David McDuff said...

Cory, Joe,
As far as I know, Weygandt is (or at least was) the national importer for Truchot-Martin. I say was because 2005 was the last vintage in which Jacky produced wine. He's now retired and, with no heirs to take over, sold his vineyards -- at least in part to David Duband.

His production was small and the wines always sold fairly well, so if you're able to find anything now, it's likely to be wines from 03/04/05 that may be left unsold at various retailers.

Anonymous said...

David, thanks for thr heads up. Looks like I have my work cut out for me.

Joe: I told you not to drink the Scott Paul, but I think the death instinct took over and you refused to hear me. I can honestly say that was the worst wine all year.

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