It was Friday. Vova U was organising this Chenin Blanc tasting event. For some reason, I decided to come earlier. Like a few hours before. I quickly bored Ivan Om, so I started to search Sabotage shelves for leftovers I would love to drink or take for various events. You can imagine, there is quite a choice! And luckily, it matched one idea I had in mind the whole week. Jura contre l'humanité!
When I drink Jura, I often think about Grégoire Moulin. In my opinion, they are both beautiful in their characteristic nervosity. Yet let my opinion about the movie not distract you from the main attraction of this day. So without further ado, meet our protagonists. And let's meet on the moon afterwards.
Matassa Tattouine Rouge 2019
This wine secured the 🏅 5th place in our wine tasting lineup.
I know, I know. It's Matassa. Again. You must be so pissed off by the fact that I torture everyone with Matassa wines. But what can I do? They are beautiful. Besides, it's Tattouine Rouge 2019!
Tattouine Rouge? A deserted moon-like sphere on a label? If the corners of your lips are not dancing, you might be living under a rock. My congratulations, Patrick! On the other hand, Louis/Dressner says the name comes from a single vineyard of red schist soils named Tattouine (and not Tatooine, by the way).
Whole-cluster, four week maceration. Pressed and racked into 2500L foudre for aging. No sulpher added to the wine.
Les Bottes Rouges Tôt out Tard Ploussard 2018
This wine secured the 🏅 4th place in our wine tasting lineup.
Meet Jean-Baptiste Menigoz, a former teacher in Arbois working with special needs children. At some point, he became fixated on low-intervention wines and decided to devote all his free time away from school to work in the vines. Under the tutelage of Stéphane Tissot, Jean-Baptiste learned the ins and outs of the wine world. In 2012 committed fully to trading his classroom for his vineyards.
Being a music lover, Jean-Baptiste named Domaine after a French song (The Red Boots). Musical references continue to pop up in the names of his cuvées. For example, Tôt out Tard (Sooner or later) is the name of an independent French record label.
Now meet Florien Kleine Snuverink, a former owner of the famed Café Schiller in Amsterdam (Netherlands). She moved to Jura to learn winemaking. Initially, Florien planned to purchase some vines for herself but ultimately decided to join Jean-Baptiste.
So this is Domaine Les Bottes Rouges and two friends that started with different careers in different countries but decided to take the life-changing decision to work full-time as winemakers.
Poulsard planted in clay soils from a lieu-dit within the Arbois AOC called La Mulatiere. Destemmed, 20 days maceration, without extraction. Then pressed before continuous fermentation and ageing in 600-litre old oak barrels. Aged six months in bottle before release.
Marco De Bartoli Pietra Nera 2018
This wine secured the 🥈 2nd place in our wine tasting lineup.
I bet many of you would provide me with a lengthy list of other wines to pair with Tony Bornard les Gaudrettes Troisième Tirage 2018. Yet I decided to play with your emotions. An older vintage of gorgeous Pietra Nera (2022 is on the way to Kyiv, hehe). Maybe it's not as round as les Gaudrettes, yet it's also mineral, complex and quaffable. Say hello to Marco de Bartoli.
Pietra Nera is a 100% Zibibbo from 60 years old vines growing on volcanic terraced slopes of Pantelleria. The grapes are picked by hand. After a rigorous manual selection of the clusters, they are destemmed, gently pressed and macerated at a controlled temperature for approximately 24 hours. After the soft pressing, the must decants at a low temperature for 48 hours. The limpid run starts fermenting with wild yeasts in stainless steel vats. Aged for 6 months in stainless steel vats. 20,000 bottles were produced.
Tony Bornard les Gaudrettes Troisième Tirage 2018
This wine secured the 🏅 6th place in our wine tasting lineup.
The internet is exploding with stories about Tony Bornard and his father, Philippe. The latter is a famous yet retired winemaker from Arbois Pupillin. His labels are easy to find on the long shelves - the fox is always there to catch your eye. And Tony is… well, a son to a famous Jura figurehead. As far as I understand, they have uneasy relations. But I don't want to dig into family drama, so let's focus on wine.
Today, Tony is in charge of everything. To indicate that the house style has changed, he puts his name on a simplified label. Most of the wines are table wines now yet they bear the same names (after plots, of course).
Les Gaudrettes is a 100% Chardonnay cuvée from vines farmed biodynamically and planted on a marl terroir. The grapes are picked by hand, and the vinification is respectful of the grapes: direct pressing, fermentation and ageing in barrels for three to four years, depending on the bottling. The wine is neither filtered nor fined, with zero added sulphur.
Ovum To love somebody 2018
This wine secured the 🥉 3rd place in our wine tasting lineup.
Picking a pair for Savagnin, which you never tasted, is another level of masochism. I washed my hands and touched almost every bottle in the Garage. But none of them looked good enough for the job. In addition, I wanted to bring some new to most of the participants.
After 30 minutes, I found myself in despair. I was obviously struggling, so Ivan Om jumped to the rescue. The following image depicts our conversation.
After some thought, I agreed to this experiment. After all, To Love Somebody is what Nina Simone sang - not with perfection but with pure emotion. It's a wabi-sabi of the wine world.
To Love Somebody is a 100% Gewürztraminer from the 40-year-old Gerber Vineyard, located on the terrace of the Siskiyou Mountains. The soil composition (silty and sandy soil enriched with alluvial clay and serpentine) creates a caustic environment that concentrates the Gewürztraminer grape and typically results in high tartaric acid content. The vineyard practices dry-farming and sustainable farming methods, with the goal of transitioning to fully organic farming.
The vineyards are located within 6 hour's ride from the winery. So the grapes are picked early in the morning (around 3 am) when the Illinois Valley temperature is below 4 degrees. After the ride, the grapes are the whole cluster pressed. The juice flows to a chilled stainless steel tank to settle overnight. And then it's racked into an egg and neutral barrel with fine and heavy lees. This is where wild fermentation begins. There is no malolactic. After nine months on lees, the wine is racked and blended.
Renaud Bruyère & Adeline Houillon Arbois Pupillin Savagnin 2014
This wine secured the 🥇 1st place in our wine tasting lineup.
And now we get to the opus magnum of the evening. Renaud Bruyère and Adeline Houillon are tiny producers of biodynamic wines in the village of Pupillin. They started the winery in 2011 with a modest plot of 0.75 hectares they received from Stephane Tissot - to toy around and get some real experience.
Adeline is from Arbois, so she spent time in the vineyards even in childhood. What first was just a financial necessity, slowly became her call thanks to Pierre Overnoy and his wines.
Around 2001 she met Renaud. After working for five years in the restaurant, he was tired of this business and was thinking about switching to winemaking. He was only 21. Naturally (no pun intended), they fell in love. Adeline revealed the beauty of Jura and its wines, so they decided to dive into this world.
After the formal study, Adeline worked for a few years on Pierre Overnoy. Meanwhile, Renaud learned the craft from Stephane Tissot. So after 10 years, they started their own winery with Les Tourillons plot they received from Stephane Tissot. Today they own around 5 hectares in the heart of Pupillin.
Produced from a 100% Savagnin, this wine is made using the "ouillé" method. This denotes a different technique to that of the other regional speciality, Vin Jaune, as the barrels are "topped up" during maturation to minimise oxidative ageing and preserve the freshness of the wine. It has been maturing in old barrels for almost three years.