This time, a short tour across three Jura producers. All four wines exhibit a balance between expression of local terroir, styles and grape on the one hand - and classic winemaking techniques and styles on the other. Highly enjoyable creatures.
Domaine du Pelican, Arbois, Trois Cepages, 2018
I'm a fan of Marquis d'Angerville. The wines are not cheap but they always repay the price, with elegant, clear wines whose charm and quality seem to spring off the cuff with effortless ease, belying the great effort put into them. Domaine du Pelican is Marquis d'Angerville's Jura venture and this wine is a blend of 65/30/5% Pinot Noir, Poulsard and Trousseau. It doesn't mimic Bugundy, but if you've ever drunk any of the d'Angerville's Volnays you'll get where this wine is going. It has a similar rotting leaves/forest floor character, but more subtle, and the fruit is red cherries and pomegranate rather than strawberries and black cherries. The fruit is sweet and sappy with vibrant acidity and there's just a hint of funk I'm sure comes from the grapes rather than brett or reduction. I'll refer to Burgundy now just for context. It has the fresh vitality of any of the Marquis' young wines and the purity and potential complexity of a Premier Cru, but I don't see the weight or length of one yet. That reservation aside, this is very pure and lithe, a wine so fun its joy becomes both profound and infectious. I enjoyed it a lot and definitely need to get more of this and try other Pelican wines. (July 25, 2020)
Two months later, I did do just that.
Domaine du Pelican, Arbois, Savagnin "Ouille", 2018
Savagnin is one of the signature grapes of the Jura, a white grape with green-skinned berries and what Wikipedia calls a "rather unstable genome", and it has been mutating and confusing researchers for decades. In fact, Wikipedia also tells me that Australians had been been marketing a local clone as Albarinio for years until the mistake was uncovered in 2008. In the Jura, it's used in the vin jaune, the Jura version of sherry. This is my first try and I find two parallels here: white Chateauneuf and Savenierres, with its complex earthy, ashy aromatics. The palate strikes a good balance between acidity and ripe, yellow fruit. It's intriguing, very, very well made, highlighting the eccentricities of the grape with a light touch classic delineation. (Sept. 17, 2020)
This isn't particularly complex, but it is compellingly racy and pungent, with a fruit profile that is a hybrid of lime and green apple skin, complemented by chalk and bone. What's fascinating about it, to me, is that the clean winemaking brings forth an aspect of cold climate Chardonnay that me to the Cote de Nuits (and not, say, Chablis): reticent, yet pure, fruit, pungent and saline, but without any seaside aromas and flavors. Anyone who's opposed to Chardonnay doesn't get its facility in reflecting terroir. Lovely, the kind of entry-level wine that makes you want to try out the entire range. (Sept. 7, 2020)
These three are imported by Bourgogne Crown. Now for one imported by Eldad Levy (and Yaffo Tel Aviv according to the back label).
Domaine Rolet, Arbois, Poulsard Vieilles Vignes, 2018
Domaine Rolet is a carpetbagging enterprise owned by the Devillard family from Burgundy and the Flambert and Dupuis (hotel owners and entrepreneurs). Their Poulsard is the kind of lean, peppery red that needs to be precisely made to avoid being too reedy or dirty, especially since Poulsard is apparently the kind of grape that comes equipped with its own build-in funk. Rolet got it right. (Aug. 13, 2020)