Just a taste of Jura

When we were in New York last month, tasting wines for an update to the Dalmatia guide, Krešo Petreković, of Vinum let us know about a tasting of French wines from the Jura region that was happening on our last day in town. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Krešo, then you’ll know that his exuberance for wine is impossible to deny and so naturally, we ran right over to the space at Astor Wines, as we’d had little contact with the Jura wines.

Basically, the wines of Jura will pretty much turn everything you knew about wine upside down. They are making some insanely unique and one-of-a-kind wines in that little region. Take for instance Caves Jean Bourdy which is somewhere around a 500 year-old winery. Their 2003 Côte du Jura Vin Jaune has a spectacular nose, almost like that of a sweet wine, but with this huge, floral bouquet and huffs and puffs all over you in a wonderful way. The body then completely betrays your expectations by being this mellow, light slightly citrus affair with no sweetness to it as you would have expected from the nose. Or then there is their 2003 Chateau-Chalon with its honey nose, elegant flavors and rather meaty body.

Of course there is the Macvin that many of these producers craft as well. Take for example, Domaine de la Borde which, despite the quite less-than-flashy labels offers up a number of excellent wines including their Macvin du Jura. It has a lovely, light and sweet nose that is not slathered in the in the thickness you find in other sweet, late harvest wines. It’s comprised of Savagnin grapes that the winemaker uses as it gives a good deal more acidity and control to the aging process.

We could go on and on about the other unique wines that we tasted, but suffice to say, if you get the chance (and they do pop up), take it. As Krešo put it when he met us at the door, “Grab a glass and prepare to have your mind blown.” Indeed, it was.