New from the Jura: Les Granges Paquenesses!

12/7/17 -


Loreline Laborde is living the fantasy many city dwellers have during rush hour: fleeing the city to live a quiet life in harmony with nature. After completing her formal studies in viticulture, Loreline left the bustling city of Montpellier to make wine in the undulating foothills of Tourmont, a village near Poligny. She established Les Granges Paquenesses in 2010 with almost 2 hectares planted to Savagnin, Chardonnay, Ploussard, and Trousseau averaging 30 to 60 years-old. Today she has pieced together a total of 3.5 hectares, which she just converted to France's Agence Bio organic standard this year. Although she is not native to the Jura, her wines convey a deep understanding of the varied soils and climate.

The first bottle I tasted from Les Granges Paquenesses was on a dismal, rainy evening. The Crémant was anonymously poured into my glass but the nutty aromatics bursting with salty, tropical zest needed little introduction. I was inspired first and foremost to make myself a cheese plate; then to find out who was behind Paquenesses so I could try every bottle I could afford - happily, that was all of them. Her "Mamette" cuvée is one of the most mineral Jura Chardonnays I have tasted, calling to mind "Patchwork" from Tissot. The 2013 vintage is exuberant, clean, and open after a few years of bottle age. Her Trousseau is also not to be missed. Exquisitely perfumed with wild rose, dried herbs, and red fruits, and sturdy enough to accompany hearty meat dishes this winter and beyond!

- Amanda Bowman

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