Accolade for Accad

I have had two bottles of senard’s 88 clos du roi in the past few months and with sufficient air (i.e., at least two hours decanted) they are lovely. The change from first pour to two hours out is quite dramatic.

from what I read of Accad, his genius was in vineyard management and his prefermentation cold soak seems a lot like Jayer.

Alan, again, I am not very knowledgeable about Burgundy, so could you shine a little light on Jayer for me?

read Remington Norman’s Great Domaines–great essays in that tome including about Jayer.

or Jacky Rigaud’s little book on Jayer…

For a quicker summary, though, see Henri Jayer - Wikipedia

Jayer, it is important to note was one of the earliest of the “modern” era of Burgundy winemaking to go to enology school. Accordingly, he was not just passing on the methods of his elders, especially re: hygeine in the winery. His was spotless. He was way ahead of his generational peers in that regard; he was more along the lines of the baby boomers who began to take over in the early '80s and who were often obsessed with hygeine in everything in the process , including the barrels and ambient factors (yeasts, mold, winery temperatures, etc). Now all are more or less taken for granted.

A little known (at least publicized) part of Jayer was his persistance in acquiring land that he thought would make good wine and had, in former times. Like Daniel Rion, after WWII, Jayer bought some dynamite and then land (maybe in reverse order) in the highest areas of Vosne and blasted rocks out of the Cros Parantoux, which had been in disuse after the phlloxera plague to make good growing area. (Daniel Rion, his friend and comtemporary did that with land in the “Hauts-Beaumonts” – now labeled there as Beaux Monts and in Nuits in the “Hauts-Pruliers”. [I think Rion actually got them both into active 1er cru category.] These guys saw the sad situation of the industry following the Nazi occupation and made plans that worked. Rion’s son, Patrice, is the same kind of thinker Jayer was. To Patrice and to most of his generation, being compared to Jayer is a huge compliment.

There is, by the way, a HUGE difference in Jayer’s and Accad’s methods, as I understand things. While Jayer advocates a pre-fermentation soak of up to 3-4 days to set the colors, etc in water, rather than in alcohol, before letting the wine roll in to fermentation, Accad was more extreme: he sought up to a week or so and used lots of sulphur to prevent oxidation as depending on low temperatures only was too risky for such a prolonged period.

Here is another, direct comparison I just found: Techniques for Pinot Noir @ Improved Winemaking

And, there is a HUGE difference between the two re: stems: Jayer took them all out (though I know Rouget told me that, at the end they would include some in very ripe vintages like 2002?); Accad believed in leaving them in to the degree that they were “ripe” in a vintage (and Accad was a very late picker). I know that early on in his stay at Senard (1988) he left a very hight percentage of stems in, making “monster” wines; Senard told me in 2007 that subsequent vintages used less and less, depending. Accad advocated a longer, cooler fermentation as well than Jayer. One could say they are “similar”, but…not in degree/amount of their common techniques. I think that best sums it up. Accad was for “more”.

As I probably said when this thread was new, I think the Accad wines have turned out very well.

And Kermit Lynch’s “Adventures on the Wine Route.”

Thanks for starting this discussion. I have a number of different Grivot wines in the cellar, mostly from '88 to '99, with a few from '01 and '02. But I haven’t opened any recently, after encountering a rather dense bottle (I forget which one…) quite a few years ago. Does the style change at all, going from '88 to '99?

Better to ask me, Paul, as i actually cellar and drink quite a bit of grivot. Basically the wines have been on a steep upward slope in quality since the late 90s. Great producer but Etienne didn’t really hit his stride until the 21st century. The style has evolved quite a bit from the Acaard era.

Can’t say I am a fan of Grivot’s of that period. My understanding is that Accad was great in the vineyard but not in the winery, wines were hard and extracted, if they are blossoming now, great.

Most interesting ref Grivot is the evolution since early 2000s where style has moved from wines wich could not be touched for a number of years to wines which can also be enjoyed young. Still a mystery for me whether the latest will still age gracefully. Mind you, given price policy, I have stopped buying since the 2012 vintage.

Paul, Jean Grivot proudly told me during my last visit (at Xmas 1999 or 2002, not sure which trip without my notes) that Accad left before the '93 harvest. I remember distinctly being unimpressed with all the wines I tasted on that visit, though. (It is very difficult to taste in Burgundy cellars in winter; I’ve done that too many times. These were mostly bottled wines, but…). So, it was difficult to tell whether there was any improvement after Accad left. (Many of the Accad houses, as Philippe Senard told me, kept most of his methods and still used them, so…it there is no real abrupt demarcation. Senard felt that Accad’s real “problem” was his self-confidence (some say arrogance) and his Algerian heritage (xenophobia). I would expect much of dramatic change…and didn’t see much in what I tasted in '99 or ‘02. Like I said, I think the Accad wines have turned out fine, if a little big (which may be your “dense”). Accad, himself, wasn’t rigid, at least with the stems’ inclusion.

I haven’t had a chance to taste much of Accad wines (at least that I was aware of) other than a decent selection of 1990 Grivot wines none of which were that good (well stored, aged) and certainly not anywhere near the quality level of current day Grivot. That being said all of this…

densely spaced vineyards
encouraged later picking
destemming in proportion to stem ripeness (usually 50-75%)
employment of an extended pre-fermentation cold maceration (up to 10 days and usually over 7, at 5-10°C (41-50°F))
sulphuring at the output of the crusher (rather than the vat of crushed grapes)
fermenting slow at cool temperatures for (usually) around 25 days

is not that controversial in this day and age. The cold maceration might be a touch long but we have done that in certain vintages when extraction was proving difficult (2001 and oddly enough 2009 comes to mind). The fermentation might be long for some wineries but not so for others but doubtful anything wineries would get in a tiff over. Our total pick to press time generally ends up in the 21-25 day range, sometimes more, sometimes less. It would be interesting to take today’s sensibilities and techniques and equipment and such and transplant them back to the Accad era and see if what he was advocating would have even been noticed.

I do think the problem was who was advocating them as much as anything. That a foreigner was moving from his admitted expertise (the vineyard) into the cuverie at some estates that were perceived as floundering was the problem as I heard it then. And, I made lots of inquiries, as it was, perhaps, the most interesting thing going on in the summer of 1990 in Burgundy.

I remember various peoples’ comments at the time.

But, those places were just trying new things to improve their products…and none of those estates yet had competent boomer/educated generation in place yet to guide them forward. So, they turned to Guy Accad. I sense their biggest problem in working with him was his personality, rather than any of his methods, though Senard told me in 1990 that, after the '88 Accads, he dialed up fewer stems and less extraction. And, year later (2007) he told me that Accad had no resistance to doing that, ie, Accad wasn’t rigid, but was a tinkerer.

FWIW, I sense that Accad was, in a sense, an earlier version of Jean-Luc Colombo (who I got to know a little in the '90s). Colombo was, in addition to a winemaker, advising others. He was brash, opinionated, self-confident and, most saliently, an outsider. People became defensive about using his services…in the same way: they often denied the extent of his influence with them. But, they were all trying to improve their products, like Accad’s clientele.

I’m not a winemaker, and Stuart clearly has investigated Guy Accad wines way more than I. But something Accad was doing had a marked effect on the young wines (I’ve not tasted any in recent years). Perhaps the description of his methods is incomplete in some crucial way? His massive sulphur dosage up front, or something else? The young wines were distinctly atypical, IIRC, dark, opaque wines with massive structure.

I remember reading one of Clive Coates’ notes on the '88 Richebourg, years after release, where he called the wine “great” (as I recall?), and mentioned that the bottle had been opened since that morning… I’m not surprised the wine would need that air time. I’ve got two bottles in the cellar, never tasted so far, but I’ll open one some morning! :wink:

I still remember tasting that in barrel in 1990…at the winery. Jean Grivot was explaining to me how he got to purchase it. But, my French is not unlimited (my wife’s is, but she was chasing our son or trying to quiet him), and Jean’s Burgundy accent is the most pronounced I’ve ever heard…and I was having great difficulty understanding what he was saying. Likewise, with what Accad’s role was with that wine. At the time, Jean was also making/elevaging the wines of his sister in law, Jacqueline Jayer, which were mixed in among Jean’s. I know he said that Accad had no role in them, though I am not sure why.

Complicated stuff…but that Richebourg was great. Save your last bottle for sometime when were passing through CT? on the way to Maine via 91/84, and we might make a special detour just for that. flirtysmile [worship.gif] (We won’t even complain if the bottle’s “slow-o”'d instead of aerated. )

That would be great Stuart. Maybe sometime in 2020? :slight_smile: Seriously, lmk if you’d like to stop by some day. I’m in Branford, just outside of New Haven, near the intersection of I-95 and I-91.

My wife and I go to Maine several times a year…and I go other times…and a stop at Moderne Apizza is almost always on the plan for the drive up from Philadelphia, Paul.

I wonder if they allow BYO? I think Richebourg and their clam pizza would be a good match, though maybe Pepe’s clam pie would be a better match.

That would be great. I’ll be in touch. You might regret it.

It would be nice to meet you and a real hoot to taste a wine I tasted in barrel 25 years ago.