The Jura is this narrow valley in the remote hills with Burgundy to your west and Switzerland at your east. For hundreds of years Jura sat all alone and unaffected by neighbours, with little outside attention given to some of the unusual grapes and styles of wine.
Nowadays, float around a few of our more progressive and favourite dining spots in Sydney, Melbourne, New York to London and you’ll probably see a wine list that has a dedicated section to Jura wines or at least a strong representation.
Photo below thanks to Conde Nest Traveler.
With an omnipresence of limestone soil similar to that of Chablis or Cote d’Or, with more clay and stone in the northern part – the wines are often full of that beautiful white schist and minerality taste imparted in a lot of the wines.
Also because of the historic isolation, you tend to get a huge portion of vines that avoided the big phylloxera wipe-out (50% of France’s vineyards) in the mid 19th century.
The various varieties you can find in the area include:
Savagnin – a green-skinned variety that often creates a full bodied and flavour forward wine. More on that in the Vin Jaune section.
Chardonnay – if you’re looking for one of the more rich and mineral driven Chardonnays of France. You’re in the right spot. Winemakers in Jura often like to introduce an oxidative manner of handling or ageing the wine. This means not topping up barrels (allowing oxygen to live inside of the wine barrel) or more movement between barrels/tanks in the cellar. By allowing a natural yeast to form on top of the wine in the barrel, oxygen in the barrel won’t spoil a wine it will deepen the profile and make it more rich to drink.
Trousseau and Poulsard – two red varieties you may not have heard of but well-suited to our style of minimal intervention, low additive and natural winemaking style. Often pretty, fresh and delicate with light red fruits flavours.
Vin Jaune – one of the iconic wines of the Jura, Vin Jaune is almost like a sherry wine. It’s big, big bodied, and rich. All created through the oxidative methods described above thanks to riper Savagnin grapes and a protective yeast barrier that protects it. Powerful, nutlike and captivating – this is not for the light hearted but pair it with some Comté cheese and you may fall in love.
Wellll we don’t actually have any vin jaune in at the moment BUT start with these recommendations and then hit the Jura collection here.
Enjoy these with a cheese board and great company 🙂