Our first foray into “department 39” will be the Côtes du Jura, which was granted A.O.C. status in 1937. The Côtes du Jura boundries are the largest of the Jurassien A.O.C.s, extending 80km (50 miles) from Salins les Bains in the north to St.-Amour in the south. (for a map of the Jura, please see previous post) For this reason, it is also an appellation with overall a more diverse terrior and soil composition than appellations such as Arbois or l’Etoile. With its varied terroir and plethora of wine styles, the Côtes du Jura is truly a study in diversity.
The appellation presently consists of approximately 640 hectares of vines spread out over 105 different communes. The most notable of which include: Arlay, Beaufort, Buvilly, Gevingey, Lavigny, Mantry, Passenans, Poligny, Rotalier, Saint-Lothain, Toulouse-le-Château, Le Vernois, Vincelles et Voiteur.
Wine styles authorized in the Côtes du Jura :
Vin Jaune (more on this monumental wine later..)
Sweet Wine –Vin de Paille
Macvin du Jura (2/3 grape must and 1/3 grape spirit oak aged for a min. 12 months)
Cremant du Jura
Varietals authorized in the Côtes du Jura:
Red: Trousseau, Pinot Noir, Poulsard
White: Chardonnay, Savagnin
Wine: Annie et Philippe Bornard “Les Chassagnes”
Composition: 100% Savagnin
Sub-Region/A.O.C : Côtes du Jura
Geology/Soil: mostly limestone, with some marl, and a higher percentage of clay in the northern part of the region.
Importer: Savio Soares Selections
US Retail: $30
Philippe Bornard lives at the top of the village of Pupillin and farms about six hectares, of which he inherited from his father. After years of selling grapes to the local cooperative, and with the urging of his good friend and Jurassian legend Pierre Overnoy, in 2005 Philippe made the move towards vinifying and bottling his own wines.
“Les Chassagnes” is the name of a lieu-dit, or a designated vineyard site where the obscure but characterful savagnin grape grows on predominantly limestone soils interspersed with deposits of marl and clay. In the vineyard Philippe practices biodynamic viticulture, a strict from of organic farming whose timing is dependent upon the lunar cycle, as well as the utilization of a set natural preparations to treat vines in order to optimize vineyard health.
“Les Chassagnes” is made in the style of Ouillé, meaning that during the ageing process there exists head space between the surface of the wine and the opening of the barrel. Thus the wine is constantly exposed to oxygen and most often develops slightly oxidized characteristics similar of roasted nuts, salt and savory flavors. Nevertheless, along with subtle nuances of such an oxidized wine, this Savagnin ouillé still maintains a vibrancy and briskness marked by fresh apples a distinct mineral note.
Food: The region’s very own Comté cheese is an excellent pairing partner to savagnin based wines. Like wines from the Jura, Comté also has its own A.O.C. recognition which it received in 1958. Made from cow’s milk and of a semi-hard texture, Comté is generally aged between 8-12 months. By law, only milk from Montbeliarde cows can be used, and each cow must have at least a one hectare upon which to graze.
In addition to strict production standards, the finished cheese can never be sold as a grated product, and must be sold in whole pieces (see picture above.) The creamy, sweet nutty and subtle savory flavors of a well aged Comté pair beautifully with the somewhat salty, nutty and high acid white wines from the Jura. This cheese and wine pairing is really a no-brainer!
Prochain arrêt- Arbois..