Sixth-generation Morey-Saint-Denis grower Olivier Jouan became the first in his family to make wine commercially in 1999 after completing studies at the Lycée Viticole (aka La Viti) in Beaune. Even as a teenager, he knew the family domaine was worthy of its own label, as he watched respected négociants such as Bouchard and Drouhin line up each year to buy grapes from his father.
Needing space for production, Olivier and his lovely wife Isabelle moved into a 17th century home with a pefect cellar nestled back into the Hautes Côtes de Nuits. Olivier is a one-man operation and if you need to find him, you know where to look, as his labor-intensive natural vineyard regimen is year-round. Olivier works his vines by hand organically, but has no interest in attaining any bureaucratic validation. He takes several measures to limit yields and intensify the concentration and Pinot expression of each individual terroir, including green harvesting in summer and a making a strict selection at picking time.
Olivier has parcels in two Morey-Saint Denis 1er Crus, Ruchots and Riotte (next to Hubert Lignier’s plot), and an acre of Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin. And his old-vine parcel in the Chambolle-Musigny lieu-dit Les Bussières (just across border from Morey 1er Cru La Bussière) is worthy of 1er Cru status. The Jouan Hautes Côtes de Nuits from 40-year-old vines has remarkable depth for the appellation and is an incredible value.