You’ve probably walked past our Cool Room a thousand times. Perhaps you were a bit too intimidated to go in? “That’s where they keep the really expensive wines… right?” Well, we do store some precious (and pricey) wines in there, but that’s not all. We keep a range of fragile and exotic wines in our Cool Room, as well as many “conventional” wines, but one wine category you will find exclusively in our Cool Room is the Jura.
Not typically a source for “crowd-pleasing” wines, this region is nonetheless known for making some of the most fascinating and exciting wines in the world. The Jura’s relative (historical) seclusion from the major cities of France and the rest of Europe has put the area in a bit of a time capsule. The wines reflect centuries-old traditions, and are often made using centuries-old techniques.
The notion of “fruit-forward” has virtually been abandoned in the Jura. Emphasis has instead typically been placed on acid, minerality, structure, and coaxing subtle nuances out of these wines. In the case of the whites, this usually involves utilizing the methods of oxidation and reduction. Fruit definitely exists – in abundance, in many cases – but it is typically merely one aspect in an ensemble cast of exotic and complex traits. The Jura’s cool climate is well-suited to late-ripening grapes: they retain vivid acidity while still achieving full berry and phenolic ripeness. The result is balance: the type of balance you only get by taking your time and letting things occur at their own pace, on their own terms – by allowing nature to be the pilot, not the opinions of the winemakers.
If you’ve never tried a wine from the Jura and want to know what they’re all about, let your adventure begin with these!
Champ d’Étoiles” Crémant du Jura, Champ Divin
A genuine “field of stars,” this pale copper sparkler is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that scintillates with extra fine bubbles. Dry, with notes of pear cider, seaside beaches and pale sand, the texture is light, clean with just enough body Though zéro dosage, this is not an austere wine and can appeal to even those unfamiliar with the unique character of the Jura. Classic methode champenoise, means structured complexity and a fine pairing with baked seafood canapés.
Savagnin Sous Voile “Cuvée Pollux,” Champ Divin
An effusive nose of resin, green branches and lime resonates against a broad palate, balanced with well-integrated flora and salty nut notes. This bone dry, oxydative wine is like a mild vin jaune and would do extremely well with a hunk of Comté cheese. Champ Divin is new to the US market with a small production of finely tuned, classic Jurassic wines.
I feel these wines reflect the character of the Jura, don’t pull any punches, and yet are not overly austere. They are delicious snippets of the world of Jura wines.