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.
Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014 95
First harvest of Khikhvi. Light apricot notes, peach skin, lemon peel. Citric in the mouth, fresh, lively acidity, vibrant. Very holistic, full and deliciously good.
100% Khikhvi · 12% · 30GEL
Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015 94
Bruised red apple, touch of lemon peel, limestone minerality, and some white pepper notes at the back of it. High acidity and full in the mouth. Luscious, involving, elegant wine.
100% Khikhvi · 14% · 25GEL
Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014 93
Apricot, yellow peach, orange peel, and a touch of honey. Quite complex aromatically. Orchard fruit much more prevalent in the mouth with young apricot notes. Rich and elegant, touch of astringency in the finish.
100% Khikhvi · 13.1% · 28GEL
Domaine of the Bee - Cuvée 2015 93
Ruby with minor garnet rim. Rich red fruits with an underpinning of ripe plum, orange peel, licorice, cocoa. Broad, round tannins with a touch of toast and sweet cocoa in a long finish. Manages to stay very light on the palate despite the higher alcohol.
50% Grenache 50% Carignan · 15% · 25EUR
Aquila del Torre - Primaluce 2015 93
Bruised yellow apple, bit of fig compote, chalky mineral notes, and hazelnut. Light oxidized touches that work to embellish the wine. Rich palate that carries lovely texture with the age of the wine.
100% Sauvignon Blanc · 13.5%
Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016 93
Lemon and white peach, strong kick of salinity, and toasted notes. Very fleshy and full on the palate, peach notes more prominent as well as Meyer lemon, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish.
100% Grenache Gris · 14.5% · 20EUR
AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012 93
Forest bramble with ripe red fruit, touches of cherry, ripe red plum, tiny bit of prune, cumin, anise, black licorice, wet cement mineral note, underlying fig jam. Crisp medium plus acidity, medium tannins, medium plus length, medium alcohol, overall medium plus body that’s ripe and lively but super fresh and balanced at the same time. Bit of rugged wildness to it but doesn’t get out of hand. Easy to drink but with just enough underlying complexity so that it stays interesting.
56% Syrah 27% Cinsaut 6% Grenache 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% "Others" · 13.5% · 12EUR
Domaine Treloar - Motus 2015 93
Dark ruby, minor rim. Big, mighty bouquet of red cherry and other brambly forest fruit, vanilla, almond blossom, orange peel, and cocoa. Rich and full on the palate with a wealth of tannins still integrating, leading into a crunchy, lingering finish.
80% Mourvèdre 10% Syrah 10% Grenache · 14% · 14EUR
Martivillí - Sauvignon Blanc 2018 92
Crisp green apple, crunchy and mineral, with a light chalky base to the aromas and excellent complexity. Balanced on the palate, very pure with a long finish.
100% Sauvignon Blanc · 13% · 8EUR
Domaine Madeloc - Crestall 2016 92
Ruby with light garnet rim. Mix of red and dark brambly fruits, eucalyptus, light leather, and orange blossom. Broad red fruits on the palate, lightly sweet aspect from the oak, rich dry tannins with a full structure and a long finish. Needs more time but quite good now.
100% · 14%