WINE OF THE MONTH
Jura, France $18
The Jura- which is one of the smallest wine regions in France- is nestled between Burgandy to its west and Switzerland to its east. Its soils contain a lot of clay and limestone and on some of its higher slopes can be likened to those in the Cote D’or of Burgundy. Unsurprisingly, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are grown in Jura just as well but in a more continental climate with a closer proximity to the Alps, very hot summers and long, cold winters. Prior to falling victim to phylloxera in the 1900’s, you could find up to 42 different grape varietals being grown amongst the lush farmlands in this region. Now, there are just about 2,000 hectares of vineyards left and five grapes that dominate. Besides the two already mentioned, Jura is known for reds Poulsard (light-colored, low tannin, fragrant) and Trousseau (deep, meaty, flavorful), and a unique take on the white wine grape Savagnin. Sub-appellation Chateau Chalon produces a nutty, slightly oxidative wine made from Savagnin called vin jaune that you can only find on this one hilltop. It's also worth noting that some amazing cheeses comes from Jura; vin jaune and something like comte (or french gruyere) are made to enjoy together. Now back to the reason we’re even exploring this magical place...
Daniel Dugois bought 2 hectares of vineyard in his hometown of Les Arsures in 1973, and his family has been cultivating vines there ever since. In 1982, along with this wife, he began producing wine in his own cellar. Now, his son Phillippe runs the estate and continues to bottle quality, award-winning wines that exemplify a distinct sense of history and place.
Their success with the grape in this bottle comes in part from the aforementioned soils in which it is grown. Located about a quarter mile above sea level in an area known as “en grevelierre,” Trousseau thrives in the thick, magenta layer of clay and limestone. The juice undergoes a pre-fermentation cold maceration, natural yeast fermentation, and Malo, and then spends 24 months in oak (but is not “oaky”). What results is a formidable but versatile wine that can pair with more savory chicken or mushroom dishes and can also stand up to meatier courses and game. At just 18 bucks on the shelf, this is sure to be your new go-to for any occasion, or with how this year is going, no occasion at all. Cheers.