Bligny-lès-Beaune, Burgundy, France
Jane Eyre is originally from Melbourne. In 1998, she was working as a hairdresser when she asked a customer, who happened to be the wife of wine writer Jeremy Oliver, if she knew of any wineries where she could do work experience. The Olivers recommended Burgundy, which has since been an inextricable part of Jane’s life. “I fell in love with France, and Burgundy is just what I wanted to make.” Back in Australia, she took a job with the legendary Prince Wine Store and studied winemaking at Charles Sturt University. After working vintages at Cullen in the Margaret River, and Felton Road and Ata Rangi in New Zealand, she returned to Europe in 2003. Work for three months with Ernie Loosen in the Mosel led to a job in Burgundy with Domaine des Comtes Lafon in January 2004. She then took over as assistant winemaker at Domaine Newman, and has slowly developed her own négociant business, renting a small winery in Bligny-lès-Beaune with Dominique Lafon. Though we‘d known of Jane for years, we only met her in 2015 while in Burgundy with the Shaw + Smith winemaking team. We immediately fell for her style, which is scented, balanced and scrupulously clean.
In the 2021 edition of Le Guide des Meilleurs Vins de France, Jane Eyre was awarded two stars, one of only 26 producers in the whole of France to be recognised at this level. Otherwise known as the ‘Guide Vert’ or Green Guide to the best French wines, the 26th edition of the book features 5,500 wines from 1,150 estates. Jane is also the only Australian producer to receive two or more stars for their wines, a phenomenal achievement for a relative newcomer to Burgundy.
Jane’s Volnay is sourced from vines aged between 35 and 60 years old, the fruit is beautifully concentrated and lends itself to making a poised and excellently structured wine, with aromas of crunchy cherry and blackberry fruit. The ‘Cents Vignes’ vineyard is located towards the northern end of Beaune’s belt of Premier Cru vineyards, near the commune boundary with Savigny-lès-Beaune. The wine boasts bright, red fruit on the nose, perfumed with violet flowers and steely graphite notes. The Pinot Noir for Jane’s Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru ‘Les Corbeaux’ comes from vines which are over 50 years old. It offers aromas of violets and mulberry on the nose, with racy acidity, savoury tannin and structured, red berry flavours, which all come together on the palate for a superbly balanced wine. Her Savigny-lès-Beaune Premier Cru ‘Aux Vergelesses’ is beautifully perfumed, with a bouquet of red cherries, violets and raspberries. It has a superb structure, meaning the wine will continue to develop in bottle. Her Corton Maréchaudes Grand Cru is rich with layers of dark cherry and plum, and is beautifully crafted with mid-palate weight and a long finish. Jane started working with growers in Beaujolais in 2017. Her Chénas has layered floral and black fruit aromas with exuberant fruit and supple tannins on the palate. One of her latest cuvées is the red Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru ‘Les Bondues’, which comes from a parcel of 90-year-old, biodynamically farmed vines. The wine shows intensely pure notes of blueberry and cherry fruit on the nose, with mineral undertones and a structured yet supple character on the palate.