Johnnes & Company


   Photo courtesy of Thomas Schauer

I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in many different facets of the wine trade. My career in wine started as a seed that was planted during my studies in France in 1974. I was living in the south of France near Chateauneuf-du-Pape and, when not working on the French language and French literature at the University of Grenoble, I was touring the vineyards and food markets in this extraordinarily rich gastronomic region.

With serving, importing, selling and writing under my belt, I felt it was time to try and make the stuff!

Current Vintage

Following my initial foray into winemaking during the 2007 vintage, I earned a new appreciation of what it takes to craft a beautiful bottle of wine. So when the stars aligned in 2009 for a stellar harvest in Burgundy , I knew the opportunity to once again attempt to coax the magic from Gevrey-Chambertin�s grapes was too good to resist. I was humbled by Fred Mugnier�s expertise and generosity as he again agreed to guide me in his cellar through the vinification process. I am thrilled by the result: 5 barrels of silky and fresh red Burgundy.

Daniel’s Tasting Notes

This cuv�e of Gevrey-Chambertin is mostly de-stemmed with about 20% whole clusters to assure a cool slow fermentation and added complexity. No chapitalization was necessary as the grapes were ripe, healthy and clean with no botrytis. The final alcohol level is 13.2% producing a wine with richness and balance without being too heavy. The wine was aged for 16 months in 30% new oak barrels and bottled without any fining or filtration.

The wine is medium in color with pure, floral aromas mixed with hints of red berries, spice and earth. It has ripe sweet pinot noir flavors with smooth texture and excellent freshness. Enjoy now or lay down for a few years.

For information about purchasing, please email Bethany@danieljohnneswines.com.

Past Vintages

Oregon

With the 2007 vintage, I was offered, for the first time, an opportunity to make my own wine - a Pinot Noir from the highly regarded Seven Springs Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills district of the Willamette Valley, Oregon. A vineyard that, as some have said, if the vineyards of Oregon were classified, would be a Grand Cru. I am lucky to have had the support of the famed winemaker Dominique Lafon, on-premise winemaker Isabel Meunier, and my friend, and superb winemaker, Eric Hamacher.

Daniel’s Tasting Notes

I made two separate cuvées of Pinot Noir in 2007. The regular cuvée is a blend of 20% whole cluster and two 100% de-stemmed cuvées fermented at different temperatures. At a modest 13% alcohol this wine is vibrant with red and dark fruit aromas, a seamless ripe fruit attack on the palate, soft ripe tannins and fresh balanced acidity.

The second cuvée is 100% whole cluster. A bit lighter in color and alcohol than the other cuvée, it is no less impressive on the palate. Its aroma soars from the glass with floral, spice and white pepper notes. On the palate it is soft with raspberry/cherry nuances and an energetic refreshing finish.

From The New York Times – “I loved Johnnes’ whole-cluster pinot, which had a juicy floral freshness to it, while the de-stemmed cuvée had a little more cherry sweetness, though it was decidedly dry. Both wines were balanced, restrained and light-bodied in the manner of classic pinot noirs.”

Burgundy

While contemplating taking this leap into the world of winemaking in Oregon, my close friend Jean Pierre de Smet, formerly of Domaine de l’Arlot in Nuits-Saint-Georges, suggested I embark on a similar undertaking in Burgundy. This is the home and Holy Grail of Pinot Noir and although working with this fickle grape is challenging, it is the challenge that keeps me awake at night…dreaming of the beguiling aromas and the sensuous texture of great Burgundy.

Through contacts and many discussions, I was able to source 2 barrels worth of grapes from Gevrey-Chambertin from the 2007 harvest to make under the guidance of another close friend and great winemaker, Frédéric Mugnier.

Daniel’s Tasting Notes

This cuvée of Gevrey-Chambertin is 100% de-stemmed and handled gently with a very light chapitalization. The wine is moderate in color with pure, floral aromas mixed with hints of red berries. It is delicate and balanced with excellent freshness. This is a wine to drink now and enjoy.

From The New York Times – “The 2007 [Johnnes & Company] Gevrey-Chambertin…was pretty – earthy yet delicate – with a similar freshness.”