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We were lucky enough to meet and taste with Jean-Charles Maire at Domaine du Pont de Breux in the spring of 2013 and winter of 2014, and we are sad to present a selection of the last wines produced at the estate.
From the estate description by Jean-Charles: "The domaine was created in 1992, situated in the communes of Marnoz and Salins-les Bains. It consists of 4 hectares of vines and 16 hectares of fields for grazing Charolais cattle. This permits the isolation of most of the vines, avoiding the pollutions generated by "conventional" neighbors. Almost none of the vines touch parcels treated with chemicals. The unique quality of the wines of Salins come from the soil — the "marnes" on which the vines grow are Kimmeridgian, the same as in Chablis. They bring to our wines a minerality and a beautiful finesse. On these soils we grow the Chardonnay, Savagnin and Poulsard in the lieu-dits "les Charmoz" and "Pont de Breux." Only the Trousseau grows on more classic Jura soils, one part on the scree of Mont Poupet in the lieu-dit "Les Riantes," and the other on marnes in "Le Calice et Vignole." Vinifications are done without added yeasts, without any additives, in the most natural way possible. Sulfur is used in very small doses."
Jean-Charles was a pioneer of organic agriculture in the region, with natural vinifications that beautifully express the unique terroirs of the nothern Jura. Except for the 2009 Vin Jaune, the wines in today's email are from 2012 and 2014 which can be described as "classic" Jura vintages producing light-bodied wines with moderate alcohol and firm acidities. The delicate 2014 Poulsard for example shows a very pale garnet color, almost a rosé, with only 11% alcohol. The Trousseaus show darker color and deeper fruit but remain light in body with firm acidity and vibrant minerality.
We are very fortunate to have met Jean-Charles Maire - he was deeply intelligent, thoughtful and friendly and he cared intensely about his beautiful organic vineyards. We hope that many of you will take the opportunity to try his unique and very special wines. We'd like to offer our sincere thanks to his daughters Anne-Sophie and Cécile Maire, whose patience and perseverance made it possible for us to bring the last of Jean-Charles' wine to the US.
Quantities are limited, 3 bottle limit on the 2014 Trousseau and 6 bottle limit on the 2012 Trousseau, please. (Case quantities are possible on the 2014 Poulsard) The wines are in stock at our warehouse, please allow 7 days before pick-up or shipping.
From a 1/2 hectare parcel on Kimmeridgian limestone in Marnoz, northeast of Arbois. 11% alcohol. Very pale garnet color, really a rosé. Austere nose with subtle aromas of red-currant, strawberry, earth and beach rose. The palate is tart and light, slightly tannic, with red-currant, earth and stone, very crystalline and long. All minerals and firm acidity in the finish. This is a wine of contemplation with lovely, subtle aromas. No sign of age - It would be interesting to cellar this another 10 years...?
(Arrival Tuesday 3/29) An unmistakably Jura Chardonnay, with oxidative notes dominating on the nose, and floral notes hiding behind. On the palate, flavors oscillate between the oxidative, fino notes and beautiful stone fruit and lemon curd, with hints of mint and herbs. A fantastic white to sit with over some time, as it continues to evolve in the glass. Though there is ample acidity here, it seems now is the moment to drink this wine. The acid is delicate and the mineral backbone keeps the wine straight, or vertical as some say, but the delicate fruit and aromas are well developed. -EL
(Pre-arrival) Jean-Charles Maire made this beautiful Vin Jaune from Savagnin grown on Kimmeridgian soils in the lieu-dits "Marnoz" and "Pont de Breux" near Salins-les-Bains, organic since 1992. The 2006 Vin Jaune from Jean-Charles was given six years of sous-voile aging which resulted in a light-bodied delicate wine of only 10% alcohol - the 2009 is another story entirely at 14.5% alcohol, with fabulous density of fruit framing the remarkable mineral structure brought by the Kimmeridgian limestone.
This is an ancient style of winemaking in the Jura, recognized in 2014 with its own French AOC. Macvin is produced when brandy is added to partially fermented wine, a practice that is used in many other winemaking regions of the world. The Macvin is then aged two years in barrel. Jean-Charles Maire's Macvin is about as classic as they get, with aromas of hay and butterscotch. A dry and slightly oxidative nose deceives the drinker, as the palate brings subtle sweetness and bright citrus notes. This could be someone's favorite apero, but it seems destined to be a pairing wine. Suggestions are any desert with stone fruit, perhaps apricot (on their own or in a tarte), chestnut or coconut desserts, Comté cheese, and Country ham with melon or pineapple.