Jean-Charles Maire

Our last shipment of Jura Wines from the late Jean-Charles Maire / Domaine du Pont de Breux

Share

In the winter of 2013 my father and I visited Jean-Charles Maire at his humble estate in the Jura for the first time. We visited once again the following year and unfortunately, he passed away in 2015 after an unexpected heart attack. Jean-Charles was a pioneer of organic agriculture in the region, with natural vinifications that beautifully expressed the unique terroirs of the nothern Jura. 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.

David Lillie and Jean-Charles Maire, 2013

Since his passing, his daughters Anne-Sophie and Cecile reached out to us because they knew how much we deeply respected their father and how passionate we were about his wines. Though he sold his wine locally, and had a stand every year at the Foire Eco Bio (the biggest organic trade fair in Europe), he was not known widely outside of the Jura, and I remember him being quite proud to know that we would be telling the story of his work and his fantastic wines far away from Marnoz in New York and the US. His daughters remembered this too, and in particular they remembered the respect that my father and their father had for each other, so when it came time to deal with their inheritance, which included all of the wine their father had not sold yet, they asked us if we would take his final wines. French bureaucracy is known to be complicated and tangled (but what bureaucracy isn't?!) so it took a while, but we received half of JC Maire's wines in 2022, and have finally received the second half, with the addition of a wine that his daughter's discovered in the cellar since our last shipment. We should note that due to an inbounding error, two wines (his 2014 Trousseau Vieilles Vignes and the 2009 Vin Jaune) will not be available until April, so we will send a very brief follow up email to this one when those two cuvees are available next month.

Tasted recently, the wines were showing beautifully - true Jura wines made with minimal intervention and expressing the local grapes and traditional styles. The 2012 Marnieres Trousseau is in a lovely place, with deep flavors and balanced acidity, graceful on opening and developing more complex flavors with air. The 2014 Pinot Noir is bright and red fruited, silky and acid driven and overall very pretty. The 2014 Poulsard shows mostly acid and almost no fruit aside from some whispy cranberry notes on opening, but is a revelation after 2-3 hours open, with floral and red fruit aromas emerging, and the intensity of the acidity leveling out in a very pleasant way. It's old-school Poulsard, from a cool  (as in cold) vintage, the kind of Jura red us wine geeks would babble about excitedly 10 years ago when we were the weird table in the school cafeteria. The discovered wine, 'Cul Entre Deux Ceps' (ass between two vines) is a beautiful Savagnin "Tradition," meaning it's aged sous-voile, though not the full 6+ years necessary to bottle as a Vin Jaune. Our friend Pascaline explained that "cul entre deux chaises" is a French phrase meaning "ass between two chairs," referring to someone who doesn't know which seat to sit in... our guess is the play on the phrase is to imply that the wine was between a slightly oxidative Savagnin and a fully oxidative Vin Jaune, so Jean-Charles came up with this funny name. The wine is far from funny - it's lights out oxidative Savagnin for $27, with balanced acid, great frame and structure. Break out the Comte (and get the fanciest piece you can find, since the wine is such an incredible deal!).

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.  -Eben Lillie

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."

If you would like to be reminded when the Vin Jaune and Trousseau Vieilles Vignes are available in April, email us here and we'll reach out once they are available.

Pont de Breux 2014 Côtes du Jura Poulsard

From a 1/2 hectare parcel on Kimmeridgian limestone in Marnoz, northeast of Arbois. 11% alcohol. Very pale garnet color, almost resembling 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 on opening, giving way to beautiful floral notes and elegant yet restrained red fruit with 2-3 hours of air. Though it does seem to have potential for longer aging, we think this moment at 10 years, with time to breathe (2-3 hours in bottle, maybe more like an hour in a decanter), is a wonderful time to drink the wine.

  • red
  • 4 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
Sorry, the Following have Already Sold

Pont de Breux NV Macvin du Jura

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. We've heard that the old folks in the Jura will add Cremant or Vin Mousseaux (a basic sparkling wine) to Macvin as a pastime.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur