When Jacky Truchot retired after the 2005 vintage, a style of winemaking disappeared from Burgundy. There are many producers who claim to use traditional techniques, but some aspects of modern viticulture are always incorporated into their winemaking. That was not the case with Jacky Truchot. After returning from the Algerian war in 1961, Jacky went to work for the estate of his cousin, Henri Mauffre, based in Morey-Saint-Denis. Jacky, who never attended winemaking school, adopted the philosophies and practices of his cousin. Upon the death of Mr. Mauffre in 1978, his widow sold the estate to Jacky. The name was changed to Domaine Truchot-Martin, which incorporated Jacky’s wife’s maiden name. Small in production, the wines of Truchot-Martin were mostly sold in France until late into Jacky’s career. By chance, Jacky bumped into an American couple one evening in 1985 at a local restaurant. Exhausted by a long day of tasting, the man and woman were drinking beer. Jacky inquired as to why they were not enjoying a regional beverage and a conversation ensued. The couple was invited to stop by the cellar the next day and they thoroughly enjoyed the wines. The man, a lawyer by trade, was frustrated to learn the wines were not available in the U.S. He explored the option of bringing the wines into his home state of Pennsylvania, and, a short time later, Peter Weygandt had obtained an import license. For the first time, the wines of Jacky Truchot were shipped to the U.S.
Despite having his wines exported for almost twenty years, Jacky Truchot remained relatively unknown. Few critics ventured into the domaine’s tiny cellar and those that did often wrote off the wines as being too light and traditional. Jacky did not seem to really care one way or the other. His wines were not designed to impress from the barrel and their brilliant aromas only developed after a decade or so in the bottle. Some critics commented that the yields were too high to achieve top quality wines. Jacky would freely admit that he routinely achieved the highest yields legally possible, which was around 50 hectoliters per hectare. Forcibly reducing the yields of his old vines did not seem necessary to Jacky. It would have been interesting to see the results if he had kept the yields lower, but that certainly would have altered their hallmark feminine charm. Jacky was never swayed from the view of winemaking passed down from his cousin and he continued to make elegant, refined wines until the very end.
The domaine’s 7 hectares were split between Chambolle-Musigny, Morey-Saint-Denis, and Gevrey-Chambertin. The entire production was red. A tiny amount of passtoutgrian was made in addition to a basic Bourgogne. Always reliable and true to the Truchot style were village bottlings from Chambolle and Morey-Saint-Denis. The only other wine made in Chambolle-Musingy was the premier cru Les Sentiers (0.66 ha.). The majority of the production was from Morey-Saint-Denis, from which two premier crus were made. Very aromatic and soft on the palate, the Clos Sorbes (1.17 ha.) was the more approachable of the two. The Les Blanchards (0.29 ha.) was richer and more reserved. Although it is only classified as premier cru, Jacky considered Les Combottes (0.16 ha.) in Gevrey-Chambertin to be a grand cru in terms of quality. The vineyard is sandwiched between three grand crus (Clos-de- la-Roche/Latricieres/Mazoyeres ou Charmes) and produces full-bodied, earthy wines. Two grand crus were bottled at the estate. The fragrant, charming Charmes-Chambertin bottling was made from a plot located in Mazoyeres ou Charmes (0.65 ha.). More intense and rustic was the Clos-de-la-Roche. Produced from two parcels, one in the original portion of Clos-de-la-Roche (0.37 ha.) and one in Les Femieres (0.10 ha.), it was the most profound wine made under the Truchot-Martin label.
As a result of his time in the Algerian war, Jacky suffered from pain in his knees and the vineyard work became difficult in his 60’s. Jacky had a son, but he was not interested in taking over the domaine. In 2005, Jacky sold his land to a Parisian businessman named Francois Feuillet, who incorporated the vineyards into his own estate. Jacky retained a small piece of the Les Sorbes premier cru that he had traditionally blended into his village bottling and he now bottles a tiny amount of wine from this plot. With retirement, Jacky received some fame as collectors scrambled to grab his wines. The prices suddenly jumped as word got out that a special producer was disappearing. Ironically, the humble and modest Jacky Truchot attracted more attention by retiring than he did producing beautiful wines for nearly four decades.