Friday, April 16, 2010

all the cool kids are doing it!

Oxidized Wines - Imbibe Magazine

Love that this touches on the Jura and some of the producers listed. Trust that when I get around to Spain, Lopez de Heredia's at the top of the list. I've definitely gotten wind of the Scholium Project and am REALLY looking forward to hunting those wines down.

the last word on Jura

@Wink Lorch
Ok, maybe not the LAST word, but it's time to move on. You could spend a lifetime examining and appreciating this tiny region with its idiosyncratic wines, and I'm way too tempted to do just that. Happily, more and more wine bloggers, retailers, sommeliers, educators, etc. are being exposed the awesome quirks and terroir of the Jura. Who knows, maybe Savagnin will be the new Pinot Grigio!


What's that you say? You've got a fever and the prescription is MORE JURA?!?

Ok, wild (wo)man, I found a fantastic publication about the Jura in the Sommelier's Journal. It includes maps, AOC profiles, the whole shebang.

Dig in.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Montbourgeau: 2006 l'Etoile + 2000 l'Etoile Cuvée Spéciale

2006 Montebourgeau l'Etoile Blanc (had this back in 08.09)
The l'Etoile Blanc is mostly oxidized Chardonnay with a twist of Savagnin(?)---think baby Vin Jaune. -uber-fermented apples, hazelnuts *otn, really prominent acidity, medium weight. smells like vin jaune, but fresher, not as oxidized otp. this could easily cellar.

2000 Montbourgeau l'Etoile Cuvée Spéciale
Unfortunately, I can't find anything info on what makes this cuvée 'spéciale'---perhaps more time in barrel/bottle? The word on the street is that it's 100% Chard, but still looking for some confirmation on that dirty rumor.
-slightly cloudy, a mix of nail polish remover/walnuts otn; full mouthfeel with incredibly acidity, some remnant hints of apple. a crazy mouth-perfume of pure-walnut. whoa.

*shorthand - on the nose

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

About as sexy as the Jura gets...

Voluptuous grapes, scantily clad harvesters, sexy lounge music oh my!

In all seriousness, I ran across this sleek little video hosted by Stéphane that tours the Tissot domaine and walks you through their practices. André makes several appearances, as does the future of the Tissot domaine. Learn how to identify and hand-pick Poulsard grapes from one of the best!

You really get a feel for how beautiful the Jura can almost smell the Vin Jaune! Definitely worth checking out, even if (like me) you don't understand very much français!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


"The industrialization of wine is the end of its identities, its nuances, its characteristics which are part of the magic of a bottle."


This, seven lines down, on the homepage of one of Jura's best: Bénédicte & Stéphane Tissot (taking the reigns for André & Mireille). According to their website, they practice biodynamically (Demeter-certified) and have been working to change the face of their vineyards since 1995. Low-yields and natural yeasts complete the picture of authenticity.

Unfortunately, their 'Terroir/Vineyards' section (as well as many other parts) of their website is en constrution but if you've had the opportunity to taste through some of the Tissot portfolio, you know these wines speak not only for themselves, but also for their maker and his methods!

Despite a pervasion of organic/biodynamic wines in the market, there still exists a sneaky misconception that these wines are somehow lacking in quality or taste; that somehow practices that respect (and sometimes worship) dirt will taste like it. Producers like Stéphane Tissot are changing that perception by continually producing incredibly complex and tasty wines year after year.

I've really become a great fan of the Tissot domaine, and for me, they have opened a door to other unique, fantastic Jura wines that have inspired the posts below, as well as the whole of this project!

In the mid-Atlantic, Tissot is imported by Thomas Calder Selections. Must...find...local...importer...

Monday, August 24, 2009

2005 Jean Bourdy Cotes du Jura

Cotes du Jura Rouge is a blend of Poulsard, Trousseau, and Pinot Noir that's aged for 3-4 years in oak casks. The website says 'old casks' but it could imply neutral barrels. It's recommended that this wine be decanted for 2-3 hours before enjoying. Agreed. As far as I'm aware, Bourdy's wines are imported by Thomas Calder Selections.

-salty, very nutty, some cumin, serious grip otf*, a touch of barnyard otp. this holds up incredibly well overnight---definitely softens the next day.

*shorthand - on the finish

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jean Bourdy: an ancient (delicious) domaine

Unfortunately, Bourdy's website is seulement en français, so I'm relying on scrappy Google translation. They practice biodynamically and have vineyards in Chateau-Chalon and Cotes du Jura. The Cusin family house was built around 1500.

The domaine has survived the phylloxera outbreak and both World Wars, and in 1939 a partnership between the Cusins and Jean Bourdy was formed. The winemaker is Jean Phillipe Bourdy as of 1996. Because of the age of the domaine, it has accumulated quite a collection of ancient bottles (see pic above).

A totally hearsay quote: "In a recent Jean Bourdy tasting of wines from Jura, a 1865 Jean Bourdy Chateau-Chalon (pre-Phylloxera Savignin[sic]) was opened - to which the current owner proclaimed, 'Who would have known?...we opened it too early...'"

Also, Mitchell Pressman's blog has a great post about Bourdy & Tissot.

Domaine de Montbourgeau

<-----Montbourgeau's Nicole Deviaux Domaine de Montbourgeau (mon-bore-joh), imported by Rosenthal Wine Merchant, was established in 1920 by Victor Gros, then developed by son Jean, a "gentleman farmer", until 1986 when his daughter Nicole Deviaux took command. Topping out at 8 ha, the domaine practices organically and harvests manually. The majority of their bottlings are chardonnay and savagnin based, but they also have some plantings of trousseau and poulsard. Nicole also produces a Crémant du Jura which probably receives the most press (100% chardonnay and a steal at under $30). There doesn't seem to be a lot about this tiny domaine out there, but I did find this link which gives a little more info on her wines and practices!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

'The Pope of Arbois': Jacques Puffeney

Puffeney dallied in winemaking and the Comté industry as a teenager before eventually becoming 'the Pope of Arbois', one of the top producers in Jura. And you can't get better accolades from Mr. Rosenthal than this: "Most Americans have never been exposed to the joys of wines from the Jura and the quite idiosyncratic characteristics of the Savagnin, Poulsard, and Trousseau grapes. Visiting this terrain through the wines of the great master, Jacques Puffeney, is the preferred way to enter this fascinating part of the world of wine."

2005 Puffeney Arbois Rouge Vieilles Vignes

2005 Puffeney Arbois Rouge Vieilles Vignes*

A blend of pinot noir, poulsard, and trousseau from his oldest vines on the lot. The important note here? This is one of the last vintages of his VV cuvee---Puffeney is actually uprooting some of these vines. 'Too old'.

-a touch nutty, sweet fruit, cherries, almost a little juicy with tight texture---definitely needs some time. big tannic finish. my personal favorite of the Jura-exclusive line-up. Somehow knowing this is one of the last of something wonderful makes it that much more valuable to me...
*vee-yay veen
(prononciation très simple)