Tag Archives: Jura

Tissot Amphore from Jura

The Tissot wines are classics in Jura. Labelled as André & Mireille (Stéphane’s parents), today Bénédicte and Stéphane are in charge, and the Tissot family is among a handful of producers who carry the torch for the whole region.

These are emotional wines, if we dear to use such an expression: If not the wines themselves are, they can at least create emotions. They are made with a deep passion for wine and environment, and it’s nothing industrial or mass-produced about them. The vines are cultivated in a biodynamic way, Demeter certified, it’s all completely natural, free of artificial chemicals, Tissot works with natural yeasts, and -needless to say- the sulphur levels are kept down to an absolute minimum. Because of the diversity of terroir they have decided to make many wines (around 30 different ones) in small quantities, to maintain their individuality.

benedicte-et-stephane Bénédicte and Stéphane Tissot

This week’s wines was tasted in our local wine club on Monday this week, along with other exceptional wines from Jura, several of them from Tissot, including a crémant, a late harvest dessert wine and a fortified “Macvin”. The choices could have been many, their Vin Jaune is also exceptional, but in the end I chose to highlight the Amphore.

The Savagnin Amphore is, as you might imagine, made from the savagnin grape variety and aged in amphora. The 20-25 year old vines were grown in soil with a high clay content, the maceration was made in amphoras where it also aged for 6 months, before pressing and maturing for 3 months, then bottled without filtration and without the use of sulphur.

stephane-tissot

Some words about the savagnin (blanc) is maybe justified: This is a grape from the sub-alpine regions of eastern France. It’s most famous for being the grape used in the typical “yellow wine” (vin jaune) aged under a blanket of flor yeast, just like in the sherry area (hence some similar aromas). But it’s used for a lot more, and over in the high-altitude vineyards of the Swiss Valais region it goes by the name heida, where it makes fresh and crisp dry white wines. There have been many attempts to link it to other varieties such as albariño and gewürztraminer, but all we know by now is that it has some association with (no, not the sauvignon, but…) the traminer varieties, and that it’s part of a whole family of savagnins.

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Savagnin Amphore 2014 (Tissot)

Deep orange-brown, somewhat cloudy. Loads of skin contact character in aroma, mostly orange-peel, some nuts, mature apples, spices, some “wild” aromas on the same path as a good lambic. Good concentration, smooth in texture, and with smoky notes in the mouth and aftertaste.

Price: High (but still good value)

Food: Comté, other hard cheeses (such as gruyère), light meat, several types of Asian…

A red Ganevat: brilliant as usual

Anne and Jean-François Ganevat continues to deliver fresh, fruity, and almost completely natural wines from their Jura property. This time I have tasted the new edition of their Cuvée Madelon Nature, the 2014 vintage. Gamay-dominated, it also contains 10% of poulsard and 10% trousseau. Only natural yeasts are used, and the wine is not fined, nor filtered, and has not been added SO2.

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Cuvée Madelon Nature 2014 (A. & J.-F. Ganevat)

Light coloured red with blueish rim. Smells of red fruits, some blueberry. Very juicy, grapey in the mouth, with low tannin, moderately high acidity, maybe a slight touch of brett (but so what?); simply delicious!

Price: Medium

Food: Light meat, pizza, pasta, white fish

 

A pure Jura yellow wine

 

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This wine I tasted today in the Remedy wine bar in London. It comes from a single vineyard belonging to Château Chalon in the French Jura region, a so-called “vin jaune” (yellow wine), and a very good representative for the species too. They are aged under a layer of yeast, like fino sherry, and like this one they typically come in 62 cl bottles.

The producer puts “Vin de Garde” in the middle of the front label. And many tastings have shown that even if they are delicious now they are able to develop over several decenniums as well.

Domaine Macle 2007 (Château Chalon)

A yellow to orange coloured Vin Jaune. Pure scented with elements of almonds, citrus, apricots and some salty mineral notes. Grapey, silky-smooth on the palate, nutty and long.

Price: Medium/High

Food: Comté (cow’s milk cheese from the region), a variety of white and light meat, a whole range of tapas too

An inspiring Jura Chardonnay

I may be out of tune, but chardonnay is normally not one of my favourite grapes. Of course there are many good wines made from it, but I think that the legend is bigger. Once in a while something comes along that is different, savoury, natural, and I might say engaging too.

Anne & Jean-François Ganevat is located in the small village of La Combe in the green rolling hills of the Jura, between Burgundy and Switzerland. Here in a cool climate, with vineyards planted on slopes at varying altitudes and gradients wine are made in a great variety of styles. Here they make truly inspiring wines from both red and white, famous and ‘local’ grape varieties, certified as biodynamic.

All grapes are de-stemmed by hand, and the use of sulphur is down to an absolute minimum. The whites are aged on the lees for extended periods. Other features are whole cluster fermentation, no racking of must, and all whites go through malolactic fermentation. This one is made from 100% chardonnay and has stayed for a number of months in big, old wooden vats.

 

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Ganevat Dolium 2012 (A. & J.-F. Ganevat)

Deep yellow/orange. Perfumed, with notes of citrus, apricot and dried fruits. Full, luscious taste, quite glyseric, just the right acid, in perfect balance and very long.

Price: Medium

Food: fish, salads, light meat, and why not the local Comté cheeses.