Tuesday, August 11, 2009

case in point: Jura wines

Wedged between Burgundy (Cotes de Beaune) and the Swiss border, the tiny and obscure region of Jura is a treasure hold of funky and nutty wines (seriously, some taste of walnuts).

Six AOC's: Arbois, Chateau-Chalon, l'Etoile, Cotes du Jura, Cremant du Jura, Macvin du Jura.

Arbois is arguably the most famous region, followed by Cotes du Jura. Chateau-Chalon only produces vin jaune (more on that in the next post). l'Etoile is named for tiny star-shaped fossils in the soil (noted by the red star on the label), and very good méthode traditionelle wines comes from the Cremant AOC. Macvin is the newest AOC (circa 1991).

Varietals range from revered native grapes to classic Burgundy numbers.

Red: Poulsard (Ploussard), Trousseau (Trousseau Gris), Pinot Noir
White: Savagnin, Chardonnay

Major Players: Stéphane (Andre et Mireille) Tissot, Jacques Puffeney, Berthet-Bondet, Julien Labet, Henri Maire (ph)*, Pierre Overnoy (ph)

*shorthand - post-humously

Henri Maire & Louis Pasteur?
Pasteur was actually born in Arbois, and the family vineyard on which he experimented is now owned by the Henri Maire domaine. Maire is widely credited for keeping the Jura wine industry afloat with his cheap, prolific line of 'Vin Fou' or 'crazy wine'. Think Georges Duboeuf, for better or for worse.

Check out Peter Liem and Brooklynguy for more Jura-love.

Also, Ms. Mumu puts on quite a show: she has several in-depth posts starting with this one about the Jura, its producers, AOC restrictions, etc. etc. Très organized and a ton of detail for the über-geek.

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