Jura-tastic

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As the city begins to thaw and we prepare for spring, we find ourselves craving wines from the Jura: spicy and mineral-driven Chardonnays, complex and mind-bending Savagnin expressions, and fresh reds from Pinot Noir, Trousseau, and Poulsard to enjoy during this seasonal limbo. We've stocked up on our favorite bottles from some of the most dynamic producers from the region, and are excited to share them today.

Domaine Ratte: The Ratte’s are not new to winemaking. Michel-Henri and Francoise Ratte got some of their first vines from Françoise’s parents (along with purchasing some of their own in 1989), and now they’re working nine hectares with biodynamic methods under Demeter certification. They proudly focus on their seven different sites, all around the village of Arbois, exhibiting the benefits of various soil types and vineyard positions. The wines show incredible freshness and purity of fruit, especially the Savagnin ‘Nature.’ Some of the grapes that are used in this come from vines over 100 years old, planted by Françoise’s great-grandfather! 

Les Coteaux du Val de Sorne: Many customers first note the labels on the Val de Sorne bottles. It is an image (a bit pixelated) of the Jura’s past saint of vignerons, Saint Vernier. The labels are not fancy, they aren’t flashy, but they perfectly sum up the winemaking of Jean-François Ryon: very honest, humble, and rooted in the region's history. Ryon is a 14th generation winemaker in the southern-Jura city of Verantois, releasing his first vintage in 1992. The Poulsard, Chardonnay, and Trousseau vines grow on the blue marl soils the region is famous for. If you aren’t convinced yet of Ryon’s determined approach to authenticity and low-intervention: he makes his wines in a 17th-century building...with no lights. 

Chais du Vieux Bourg: Les Chais du Vieux Bourg was bought by the Bavaria-native, Ludwig Bindernagel in 2000, where he immediately converted the estate into organic practices. Today, he labels his wines Lulu Vigneron, and it is rare to find these bottles of Chais du Vieux Bourg in the wild. His vines grow on a mix of marl and calcareous soils, which host fossilized shells that speak clearly of Jura’s ancient geological history. The B.B.1. that we’re offering today is an incredible example of the strength of Savagnin. It composes only a portion of the cuvée, sharing the rest with Chardonnay, but definitely takes the stage in the glass. So good - and the final bottles we have to offer. 

Les Dolomies:  Steve and Celine Gormally work six hectares and bottle their wines under the Les Dolomies label. Training was with Julien Labet, and the wines showcase a similar haunting and delicate precision. Whites are extremely rare, but we were able to snag some of their reds for this offering.

Donneurs de Temps: The passionate and talented Guillaume Gilet started this project with no money or vines, but a lot of heart, and the belief that a community of people could give their time ("Donneurs de Temps" means the givers of time) and all be a part of a new enterprise together. After spending ten years working on 16 different farms (mostly with organic vineyards), he settled in Arbois to begin his journey as vigneron. His parents and friends helped him lay the cement to build his cellar from scratch, and Gerard and Christine Villet lent him a small parcel of vines to work for five years to help him get his start. He uses only products that exist naturally on earth (sulfur, copper oxides, clays, herbal teas, etc.) and produces very small quantities of wine each year. We were thrilled to offer his wines last year and are big fans of his newly-arrived white "Chardonnay de Murphy" and red, "Marnes Grises."

Patrice Beguet: Patrice Beguet started his domaine, called Hughes-Beguet, in 2009. He has about four hectares of vineyards, mostly planted to Poulsard and Savagnin, with a small amount of Trousseau. He has very clear vision and intention about his wines, and has worked diligently to make wines without any added sulfites that are fresh and incredibly drinkable on opening. This has led to a technique of blending and bottling all in the same day to minimize exposure to oxygen, and though some of his wines can be fragile three or four hours after opening, they are all consistently energetic, compelling, and clean when opened. We look forward to many more vintages to come.

The list goes on, with some delicious Poulsards from Domaine Touraize and Domaine de la Pinte, a couple of rare red wines from Domaine de la Tournelle, a classic old Château Chalon from Berthet-Bondet, a twisted Macvin from Ratapoil, and a regional specialty Vin de Paille from Marnes Blanches.

 

Ratte 2017 Arbois Ouille Nature

'Nature' is the name for Savagnin from days long gone. The grapes are harvested by hand from vineyards on blue and gray marl soils. Most vines are 20 years of age, but some are over 100 years old. Natural fermentation and bottled unfiltered.  The nose is salty and fresh, with green herbs and lemon. The palate has clean white pepper,  apple, and lemon zest. David Hatzopoulos

  • white
  • 3 in stock
  • $42.99

Tournelle 2018 Vin de Table Cul du Brey Rouge

"Cul du Brey" is a blend of equal parts Trousseau, Petit Béclan, and Syrah from selection massale vines planted in limestone scree and gray marl. The grapes are de-stemmed by hand and put into vat for semi-carbonic maceration for three weeks. Pascal suggests against aeration or long decants.

  • red
  • 4 in stock
  • $48.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Donneurs du Temps 2016 Arbois Marnes Grise Rouge 1.5L

After a long career of studying and working in organic viticulture and production throughout France, Guillaume Gilet’s winemaking at Les Donneurs de Temps has been described as “super-natural” (in terms of style) by top Jura wine journalist and store friend, Wink Lorch. Marnes Grises refers to the grey marl that vines are grown on in Arbois. Mostly Poulsard from Gilet’s La Mailloche parcel with a small amount (5% in 2016) of white grapes that are mixed in with the Poulsard. The wine has a beautiful autumnal color scheme, with hints of brown, red, and orange. The aromas are of hibiscus, red cherry, green stems, and a slight smoke. The palate is similar, but a bit more wintry, with flavors of cranberry and pine, with a clean 11.5% ABV. David Hatzopoulos

  • red
  • 8 in stock
  • $69.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Val de Sorne (Jean-François Ryon) 2018 Côtes du Jura Trousseau

At a shockingly-low 12% alcohol, Jean-François Ryon’s Trousseau from 2018 delivers a big punch with a profile that automatically made us think “Syrah?” The nose shows aromas of bacon, warm miso, blackberry, blueberry and plum. The palate is also burly. Flavors of plum, pepper, and anise are coupled with a woodsy greenness. The palate is tannic, but not overly grippy, and deep with fruit and spice. David Hatzopoulos

  • red
  • 7 in stock
  • $44.99

Tournelle 2018 Arbois Trousseau des Corvées

The Clairets make what we would consider "natural" wine, yet varietal character (and terroir) seem to shine through so vividly. This is classic Trousseau, with dark, velvety, flower petal notes on the nose, sweet, high-toned berry fruits, balanced by a hint of funk, and blackberry fruit and seeds. Les Corvées is high altitude vineyard on terroir of clay and limestone. Decant and serve lightly chilled. 

  • red
  • 10 in stock
  • $52.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
  • white fortified
  • 3 in stock
  • $54.99

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Val de Sorne (Jean-François Ryon) 2012 Côtes du Jura Crémant Rosé

Jean-Francois Ryon comes from a family steeped in the methods of organic farming. He started selling his wines from the village of Vernantois, in the far southern reach of the Jura, in 1992. This sparkling is an evenly-split blend of Chardonnay and Poulsard that come from Ryon’s 2.7 hectares of vines. It carries with it a touch of residual sugar, which helps structure the flavors of subtle red fruits and orange rind. Also, the regionally specific blue marl soils give it a spark of smoky flint. Being slightly sweet, it is extremely versatile and would pair well with baked deserts or spicy/well-seasoned vegetarian or meat dishes. David Hatzopoulos 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $30.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Donneurs du Temps 2015 Arbois Chardonnay "Murphy"

Headed by winemaker Guillaume Gilet, Les Donneurs de Temps started with 1.5 hectares in Arbios in 2012, instantly relying on organic methods of viticulture and cellar work. The name of this delicious Jura white is an ode to Murphy’s Law, as during the vintage both Guillaume's best friend Gerard Villet and his father were fighting cancer, the press fell into a tank, the tractor fell over into a ditch, and hundreds of bottles broke in a cellar accident (not to mention the frost!). Guillaume wrote to us that even with all of this catastrophes, he assumes the "paternité" of the wine, which we happen to love as much as he does. This is an assemblage of Chardonnay from the Mailloche vineyard, and a parcel called "Elliot," with 15% Savagnin from 2015 vintage. The nose offers aromas of dried lemons, raw pear, and basil. On the palate, perched upon a refreshing 11.6% ABV, are flavors of tangy citrus, anise, fresh green herbs and grass.  - David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Donneurs du Temps 2016 Arbois Chardonnay "Murphy" 1.5 L

Headed by winemaker Guillaume Gilet, Les Donneurs de Temps started with 1.5 hectares in Arbios in 2012, instantly relying on organic methods of viticulture and cellar work. The name of this delicious Jura white is an ode to Murphy’s Law, as during the vintage both Guillaume's best friend Gerard Villet and his father were fighting cancer, the press fell into a tank, the tractor fell over into a ditch, and hundreds of bottles broke in a cellar accident (not to mention the frost!). Guillaume wrote to us that even with all of this catastrophes, he assumes the "paternité" of the wine, which we happen to love as much as he does. This is an assemblage of Chardonnay from the Mailloche vineyard, and a parcel called "Elliot," with 15% Savagnin from 2015 vintage. The nose offers aromas of dried lemons, raw pear, and basil. On the palate, perched upon a refreshing 11.6% ABV, are flavors of tangy citrus, anise, fresh green herbs and grass. David Hatzopoulos 

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $59.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Val de Sorne (Jean-François Ryon) 2018 Côtes du Jura Chardonnay

The 2018 harvest, a difficult one in the Jura, left Jean-François Ryon with 15% less production than the previous vintage. What he did produce, however, has remained a prime example of what thoughtful, low intervention processes can achieve. These grapes come from Ryon’s blue marl soils and are fermented and aged in steel. The result is a refreshing Chardonnay, with aromatics of dried lemon, apricot, and mineral water. The palate is dynamic, delivering flavors of stone fruit, apple, a hint of spicy mint. Another awesome bottle we’re happy to share from Ryon. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

Chais du Vieux Bourg 2012 Côtes du Jura Blanc "BB1"

Ludwig Bindernagel, a favorite of ours from the Jura, currently works with the newly-minted Lulu label. However, when he first came to the region in the early 2000s, he produced wines as Les Chais du Vieux Bourg, the domaine he had purchased. ‘BB1,’ though it may sound technical, or even scientific, stands for ‘Baby One,’ as it was the first cuvée Lulu ever created. It is a blend of Chardonnay and Savignin, and produced in a topped-up, or ouille, style. On both the nose and palate, aromas and flavors of roasted apple, spiced pear, dried apricot and pepper boast of the wine's warm profile. In contrast, the mouthfeel is clean and refreshing, with a driving mineral tone. This could be your last chance to taste a bottle labeled Les Chais du Vieux Bourg. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $129.99

Les Dolomies 2018 Cotes du Jura Madeleine Gamay

Steve and Celine planted these Gamay vines in 2003 on alluvial limestone soils near Arbois. Grapes go through semi-carbonic maceration and aging is for one year in neutral barrels.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Domaine de la Pinte 2018 Arbois Pinte Bien

Hailing from the blue marl soils of Arbois, the 'Pinte Bien' is 100% Poulsard (vine age ranging between 20-35 years). Though a larger producer in the region, Domaine de la Pinte has been dedicated to organic practices since 1999, and are now pushing into the world of biodynamics. The grapes are hand harvested and destemmed, then undergo natural fermentation inside old barrels. On the nose, a hint of barnyard recedes to show clean fruit of red cherry and orange peel, all culminating in a lingering accent of smoke. The palate hosts tart red berry, savory, wintry citrus and a soft touch of cured bacon. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

Domaine de la Touraize 2018 Arbois Ploussard 'La Cabane'

The Morin family has been making wine in Arbois for several hundred years, the majority of which were spent as part of the co-op in the area. In 2009, they sold some of their vineyards and left the co-op behind, creating the Domaine de la Touraize. Farming is organic, with only sulfur and copper used in the vineyards, and no pesticides or herbicides. Fermentation is always with indigenous yeast, and no sulfur is added during fermentation or aging, with only a small amount added at the bottling. This is a textbook Poulsard (Ploussard is a local spelling) - light in body, with floral notes and crushed berries on the nose, and a bit of spice and herbs in the mid-palate. Very approachable and charming, with bright acidity, and none of the reduction that is often found with Poulsard. Serve with a light chill. Total SO2: 40 mg/l   -EL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Hughes Beguet 2018 Arbois Côte de Feule

Poulsard from the Côte de Feule vineyard in Pupillin. Several other growers we admire have some plots here, such as Granges Paquenesses, Domaine de la Borde, and we're quite certain Houillon and Overnoy as well (it's a pretty well known vineyard site in Pupillin). In 2018, over half of the grapes were fermented whole cluster while the rest saw 6 months of maceration (infusion). Tasting last July with Patrice, the general feeling was that, with an additional 6 months in the bottle, this wine would be in a very nice place. And here we are, 6 months later! Always a fascinating wine, but beware the acidity. This is for die-hard Poulsard fans. -EL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Donneurs du Temps 2016 Arbois Marnes Grise Rouge

After a long career of studying and working in organic viticulture and production throughout France, Guillaume Gilet’s winemaking at Les Donneurs de Temps has been described as “super-natural” (in terms of style) by top Jura wine journalist and store friend, Wink Lorch. Marnes Grises refers to the grey marl that vines are grown on in Arbois. Mostly Poulsard from Gilet’s La Mailloche parcel with a small amount (5% in 2016) of white grapes that are mixed in with the Poulsard. The wine has a beautiful autumnal color scheme, with hints of brown, red, and orange. The aromas are of hibiscus, red cherry, green stems, and a slight smoke. The palate is similar, but a bit more wintry, with flavors of cranberry and pine, with a clean 11.5% ABV. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $32.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Ratte 2016 Arbois Clos Maire

Co-planted Pinot Noir and Trousseau. Manually harvested and destemmed grapes then go through semi-carbonic maceration. The nose has very plush red fruits (raspberry, cherry) and freshly tilled, dark earth. The palate is engaging, with dusty tannin around a core of fresh berries. Flavors on the tongue are of plum, blackberry, and black cherry. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $42.99

Ratte 2017 Arbois Les Corvées

Ratte describes Les Corvées as being the best site in all of Arbois to plant Trousseau. This grape is also an almost forgotten type, known as Trousseau à la Dame. The grapes are de-stemmed, ferment naturally, and the wine ages in stainless, besides a small portion being aged for a few months in barrel to enhance the wine's texture. On the nose, there are red forest fruits, baking spice, and woodsy hints of maple and birch. Coffee, pepper, and subtle flavors of licorice join red and black cherry fruit on the palate. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $46.99

Les Dolomies 2018 Cotes du Jura Bordel C'est Bon 1.5L

A rare Trousseau offering from Les Dolomies, only available in magnum.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $99.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur