Jura Wines: Uniqueness Worthy of Exploration

A couple of years ago a colleague of mine in the Association of Wine Educators, Wink Lorch, wrote and published an excellent book titled Jura Wines. Up to that point my knowledge of the wines from that part of France was sketchy at best. Words such as ‘Yellow Wine’ (Vin Jaune),’ Straw Wines (Vin Paille)’, the ‘Savagnin’ grape, ‘Oxidised Styles’ and ‘Mountains’ would come to mind in a sort of a hotch-potch of info bytes held together with very little experience of the wines themselves! As I say, sketchy! Recently three importers presented their Jura wines at a ‘Vin Jaune Lunch’. It was held in the impressive Dax Restaurant and showed the wines to perfection in a food setting that their producers would be proud of.

The importers were WineMason, Vinostito and Nomad Wine Importers. The wines were poured in an order from crisp lemony Savagnin to a rich Chardonnay-Savagnin oxidised to full on extraordinary vin jaune wines where oxidation and ageing are on level seldom found anywhere else in the world of wine.

The Jura allows five grapes: the whites are Chardonnay and Savagnin and the reds are Trousseau, Pinot Noir and Poulsard. Sparkling wine, reds, roses and non oxidised white are produced. The lunch in question, however, highlighted the unique flavours associated with the oxidised Vin Jaune style where the wines are aged in barrel under a veil of yeast for many years. This gives them the bouquet that initially reminds drinkers of fino sherry. Vin Jaune will be over six years old before release, can have a high alcohol but are not fortified and are from a single vintage. While many, and especially novice, wine drinkers do not find oxidised styles appealing Vin Jaune wines are recognised as among some of the finest wines made anywhere on the planet.

A stunning tasting.

The producers whose wines were poured on the day were Domaine Rolet Pere et Fils, Domaine Tissot and Domaine Berthet Bondet. More info on all of these can be found on the importers and producers web pages. For detailed info on the Wines of Jura read the excellent ‘Jura Wine‘ book by Wink Lorch (highly recommended)

The menu at DAX

Arbois Nature ”Savagnin” Ouille 2016 Rolet
18 Months Comte Souffle Tart, Baby Gem, Walnut
Cotes du Jura ”Chardonnay -Savagnin” Tradition 2013 Domaine Berthet Bondet.
Arbois ”Savagnin” 2015 Domaine Tissot

Label Rouge Guinea Fowl Pithivier, Morel, Vin Jaune Sauce

Arbois ”Vin Jaune” 2010 Domaine Rolet

Arbois ”Vin Jaune en Spois” 2011 Domaine Tissot

Selection of Comte: 12 months, 16 months, 24 months

Chateau Chalon 20019 Domaine Berthet Bondet

Chateau Chalon 2011 Domaine Tissot