The first time I had a wine from the Jura that I was aware of? It was about a decade ago at Acquavit. I was there for dinner and saw this wine....Puffeney Vin Jaune. I had no idea what to expect but I had heard buzz about the producer. I was in the mood for white, or what the hell, yellow. I ordered it. The sommelier, without raising an eyebrow, decorked, poured. I knew it wasn't bad but it certainly wasn't what I had in mind and it certainly wasn't a wine to have with dinner. Ronny and I suffered through the difficult, band-aid aromas and flavors, finally making it to the cheese course when we gave ourselves over to the pairing with relief. What the wine director was thinking, to put it on a list of white wines with no warning, was worthy of a wine felony. Then, I admit, it was late to the white grape I have come to love, savignin. I went direct to the reds, poulsard (called ploussard if you happen to come from the town of Pupillin) and trousseau captivated me. If you're a card carrier in the pineau d'aunis, gamay-and -proud- of -it club, you're going to love these grapes; region originals. Savignin came later to me, and when it did, it was like pot. You know, like, you don't get high the first time but the second? Same thing for me. I love it in all of its forms, the oxidized kind for more on oxidative wines, read Pamela Govinda's piece in Imbibe Magazine under that fuzz the wine develops those sherry, nutty aromas and flavors. In this particular grape, I love the earthy lemon flavors that sort of remind me of a muscadet but mountain raised. Other reasons to love the region. Why does the region matter? Comte cheese and Mont d'Or. The fact that it has a history of being fiercely independent and all of that comes out through the wine attititude. That in some 37,000 acres (including the three appelations of Arbois, Chateau Chalon and Etoile) a significant percentage are making natural wines and more headed in that direction. That many have not dumbed down their wines for the international market. That Louis Pasteur the father of modern winemaking (and thus the beginning of the end) was born there and I could spend hours looking at the museum with his well preserved labortory. The perfect place to nail the color of sulfur When was the last time I saw a cow stroll in a vineyard? Bone like limestone and shell in the soil. The most amazing display of fossils. All is obviously not perfect! And in the middle of Chateau Chalon no less
Bonnard, first met him in 2007, but could not visit when in Pupillin. Gorgeous Trousseau, 2006 drunk last night. Yum. That Pasteur and I shared a love of both violet and ink And the producers I love? Coup de Coeur *Ganevat *Bourdy *Montbourgeau (the cremant is just gorgeous) *de La Tournelle Overnoy Bonnard Angina attacks *Bindernagel *Puffeney *L'Octavin *Dugois *Jean Michel Petite With honorable digitalis mentions to: *Domaine de la Pinte & *Berthet-Bondet.
If you want to find out why Eric loves the wines as well? See his recent article
Born in Bavaria, trained as an architect in Toulouse, Ludwig Binderangel got the wine bug, attended the viticole in Beaune. Wanted land in Burgundy. Was attacked by sticker shock. Could afford the Jura, a wine region that looks like bone fragments, less than an hour away from Dijon. Found 1.5 hectares, a mere thimble full near Arlay.one town over from Etoile. He now commutes to Paris for the architecture that supports his Bindernagle Boondoggle, and placements of his wines in bar a vin and stores such as Vin Insolite near Oberkampf, andthere you go. He had never even tasted Jura beforehand. Get that? He had no idea how to differentiate a Trousseau from a Teapot. A Savignin from a Sauvignon. And instead of deciding he was going to make the wine he wanted to make, he went out to make the wine the land wanted to make. Can you imagine tasting an oxidative wine for the first time after working with burgundy chardonnay and saying, what the hell, let's make that? How can you not love this guy? Bindernagel in his vines.
At one point he is going to go biodynamic. He really believes in what he tastes from this method of working but right now he works naturally in the winery and in the land he is organic, in more of a do nothing way. ( Mostly because he just doesn't have time.) Under his vines there is a profusion of wheats and weeds, some might call them super-weeds, which he says is from years of the previous owner's use of Roundup, its effects stay for decades, he says.
As a result of all of that competition his yields are seriously low.
On his land he has some chardonnay and pinot planted to lyre. He also has old sélection massale of Jura-Pinot noir called savagnin noir, one of two last remaining parcels in the area. Going after the process with intuition, art and a little bit of knowledge, he makes some intriguing and even beautiful wines. If you get to taste his wines--his red, tannic cremant--?-- perhaps in Paris or in the Jura or if they ever come to the united states do look for his '06 Etoile, milky and flowery. (70% chard, 30% savignin) his oxidative savignins, his 05 BB1 (his first wine) another chard/sav mix that hung out on the lees for four years, is a mixture of honey and radish.