Henri Jayer – genuine or fake – the old label

Henri Jayer (1922 – 2006) is one of the most legendary producers in Burgundy … the prices are therefore very high and there are a lot of fake bottles on the market. Buying Jayer is therefore a game of trust, knowledge and a lot of money.

I have done a bit of research on Jayer recently and found some interesting information about the Jayer labels used in the 1960s and early 1970s … the story about the forgotten label.

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Jayer Richebourg 1962 – If it seems too good to be true ..

I have seen an almost endless number of pristine Henri Jayer wines being tasted and consumed over the past few years. A rough count show more than 25 bottles of Richebourg from Jayer have been tasted by a few people, including numerous bottles of 1959 and 1962.

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To be honest I found this quite unusual, as Jayer wines are now more or less gone from the restaurants that used to serve Jayer wines, back in the days where there were mainly genuine Jayer wines on the market.

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Chasing the illusive bottle – The Kurniawan effect

Fake wines have existed even before I was introduced to fine wines more than 25 years ago, but the Kurniawan case has more than indicated that the amount of fake bottles on the market is perhaps much higher than expected.

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I will not speculate in the Kurniawan case, and mention other names, but it seems that many collectors lose all critical and logical senses in the hunt for the illusive and iconic bottle.

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Henri Jayer – Galore in Hongkong

Henri Jayer wines are rare and expensive, but the latest auction in Hongkong revealed a huge demand for the wines, and some very high prices.

At the auction on 10th of February 2012 – Christies sold 744 Bottles from the private cellar of Henri Jayer – including 100 magnums and 644 normal bottles. The total price for the 98 lots were 66,029,700 HKD, equivalent to 8,512,666 USD.

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Henri Jayer, Richebourg 1985

The Henri Jayer Richebourg 1985 is a legendary wine, and when we found it at a reasonable price at Les Millisime in Gevrey Chambertin (around 4000 FFR) we could not resist – even at lunch time. The wine was massive and quite closed compared to other Jayer wines I have tasted, and offered another dimension of structure and minerality of the quite masculine Richebourg vineyard. Very concentrated and complex, and much better than the La Tache 1985. Very good lenght and stil quite young on the palate, whith a fresh pinot expression in the nose, and very few mature notes. Need time to show the Jayer charm. An extraordinary wine.

(now to 2025) 97p – tasted in November 2001

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Henri Jayer, Vosne Romanee Cros Parantoux 1988

The third Henri Jayer of the evening at Lameloise. The Cros Parantoux 1988 is one of the most memorable bottles I have tasted. The sheer balance of the wine, the lush and very sophisticated tannins, the pure red pinot fruit, the Jayer intensity. Very fine harmony, a lot of minerality and complexity. Not a perfect wine, but a perfect bottle of a truely outstanding wine, with zen like drinkability and pleasure.

(now – 2020) 96p – tasted in november 2000

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Henri Jayer, Vosne Romanee Cros Parantoux 1989

The 1989 Cros Parantoux tasted in 2001 at Restaurant Lameloise in Chagny, actually the last bottle of Jayer we had from this cellar. The 1989 was ripe and concentrated and quite dark in the fruit expression compared to the 1988, and not quite as balanced and lush. Very good length and the typical Jayer intensity, needed a little more time to open ud, as the 1989 tannins were present – or perhaps I could still taste the Richebourg 1985 we had for lunch! Very fine perharps even outstanding.

(2012 – 2020) 94p tasted in November 2001

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Henri Jayer, Vosne Romanee 1995

Tasted at Cote D’Or just a few month before the tragic death of Bernard Loiseau. The 1995 Vosne Romanee village came after Meo-Camuzet 1993 Clos de Vougeot, and was amazing. The sheer intensity of the wine overpowered the bigger terroir of the Meo wine. The Jayer village wine was lush, silky and very ripe with a fantastic drinkablity – should have been a double magnum! A truely fine wine.

(now – 2020) 91p – tasted in October 2002

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Echezeaux – Grand cru standard?

Echézeaux is one of the largest grands crus of the whole Côte d’Or. It’s divided into a number of plots or climats the vineyard, located around the smaller Grands-Echézeaux.

I have tasted some very good bottles of Echezeaux, but also some very poor bottles where only the label was an indication of its grand cru status. Why this variation .. and what is a good Echezeaux?

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WineHog rating system – articulated Robert Parker!!

I use my own rating system here at Winehog.org.

I don’t use the 100 point scale anymore – but changed to a quite simple scale inspired by some of the British wine journalists.

Tasting and rating wine is not exact science … and therefore I prefer to use a scale that reflects that wine is a living organism and that a wine can taste like 94 points one day … and 93 the next day … depending on the moon, the glass, temperature and or my mood!

The end of points

I have been using the 100 point scale for two decades, and the problems using this scale became more and more aparent during the work with winehog.org. It’s very hard .. or perhaps even impossible to truly consistent ratings with a scale like the 100 points scale.

I therefore changed to my own scale … but still translates my ratings to points … as a service to the readers who prefer the 100 point scale … enjoy the wines … and forget the points and ratings!

The potential is defined by the terroir

The quality or the potential of a wine is in my view defined by the terroir as the complexity and depth comes from the terroir. It’s important to note that only the very best terroirs can merrit a top rating. If we look at the best 1er crus – they can indeed rival a lot of the grand cru wines produced, but it’s very rare to find a 1er cru that merrits an outstanding rating. And while the best village wines can be fine, they are still village wines – and can almost never merrit a “very fine” rating.

Here is our the winehog.org scale:

  • Legendary – (99 – 100p)
  • Extraordinary – (97 – 98p)
  • Outstanding – (95 – 96p)
  • Very Fine – (93 – 94p)
  • Fine – (91 – 92p)
  • Very Good – (88 – 90p)
  • Good – (85 – 87p)
  • Above Average – (80 – 84p)
  • Average – (75 – 79p)
  • Below Average – (70 – 74p)
  • Poor – (50 – 69p)