[WARMING WHITES] from La Pinte (Jura)

The endless summer has finally ended. And since autumn lasted no more than 2 weeks, the fires of winter have now been permanently lit, and we want some comfort stuff.

There’s nothing better for by-the-fire dining than the powerful white elixirs of the Jura. Start with some unctuous, generous, glowing Savagnin, or a rounded, plump, oak fermented and aged chardonnay. Then when the game meat dishes are served, don’t forget Poulsard, the curious cousin whose herb and spice aromas and fine acidity make it a great match.

More than a trend, wines from France’s Jura region are unstoppable in Australia at the moment. I believe the structure of Jura wines perfectly match the modern food revolution, asserting big flavours, yet hiding layers and layers of fine detail.

We are currently stocking the following great winter wines from Domaine de la Pinte in Arbois (Jura): Chardonnay Classic, 2011 (Blue Marl soils); Chardonnay Fonteneille, 2012 (Limestone & Clay soils); Savagnin, 2007 (Blue Marl soils); Poulsard, 2011 (Red Marl soils).

[VIN JAUNE] Oxidation is your friend

The magic of Vin Jaune starts with perfectly (over)ripe Savagnin grown on Blue Marl soils, fermented and aged slowly in old seasoned oak barrels containing specific yeast populations from previous vintages of Jaune. The wines will spend 6 years and 3 months in these barrels, never topped-up, such that a “veil” of protective yeast will form on top of the wine. The wine is thus deliberately exposed to partial oxidation, partial yeast and enzyme transformation by the veil, the whole long process completely transforming the wine into a new being. The wine goes in to its cocoon as a young, exuberant, overripe Savagnin, and comes out the other side as a fabulous living creature, like a Phoenix born again, with the power and grace of a dragon, and a phenomenal defence against future oxidation (it is said that the wine can survive 100 years or more). Flavours are complex and surprising, with the whole palate of autumnal delights (especially confit fruits, walnuts and curry spice), straightened up by the intensity and freshness of the famous Jura acid backbone freight train, leaving the taster with minutes of flavour persistence per mouthful. This is a moving wine experience.