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Jura Wine

Jura Wine

Lying between Burgundy and the Alps the Jura is an ancient, characterful and remarkably unspoilt enclave of wine production. Historically overlooked by outsiders, it has retained a strong sense of tradition deploying grapes little-known elsewhere and making styles of wine that are unique to the region.

On an explanatory trip in 2016, we were keen to sample the wines of Domaine Jean-Louis Tissot in the hill village of Montigny-lès-Arsures as we had ascertained they produced a broad range of wines that were reputed to be very high quality. Happily, our intelligence proved to be accurate and we were wowed by their wares at our tentative first tasting. Even more fortunately, sibling patrons Jean-Christophe and Valérie had sufficient stocks to meet our buying requirements so we were able to place an inaugural order on the spot.

The Domaine's sparkling 'Crémant de Jura' is made from pure Chardonnay that is lees-aged for a minimum of 12 months before being disgorged. It has a fine mousse, spring blossom scents and a zesty orchard fruit palate so makes a versatile, crowd-pleasing aperitif. Savagnin is the traditional white grape in the Jura heartland of Arbois that is deployed to make deliberately oxidative dry white wines of incredible intensity and longevity. J-C and V's version has sherry-like aromas and a persistent, dry mineral-edged palate that lends itself well to air-dried ham and Comté cheese. Savagnin is also the only permitted grape in the local speciality 'Vin Jaune'; a richly-hued vin de garde aged in open casks for a minimum of 6 years and 3 months and bottled in distinctive, squat 62 centilitre clavelins. The Tissots' has expressive smoked salt and spice scents, complex mineral and roasted-nut notes and an incredibly long finish.

The red wines of the Jura also merit attention. Poulsard is an early-budding local grape variety used to make pale and fragrant red wines that are excellent summer drinking when lightly chilled. The Domaine J-L Tissot bottling has a rusty red robe, a delicate red fruit bouquet and palate and the gentlest of tannins. Trousseau is another regional variety used to make wines that are denser and darker with some spicy undertones and more tannic grip. It can support 3-5 years bottle age and makes a fine partner to the local Morteau sausage.

Not to be overlooked is a venerable 'Vin de Paille', a carefully crafted sweet wine made from a blend of Chardonnay and Poulsard grapes that are air-dried on straw beds to concentrate the natural sugars. With an amber colour, preserved-fruit aromas and an intensely rich, honeyed palate, it pairs well with fruit desserts or strong hard cheeses.

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  1. Jura Arbois: Poulsard Domaine Jean-Louis Tissot 2018
    Bottle
    £13.25
    Bottle (Case)
    £159.00
  2. Bandol: Mas de la Rouvière Rouge 2017
    Bottle
    £21.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £258.00
    Half Bottle
    £12.75
    Half Bottle (Case)
    £306.00
  3. Bellet: Domaine de la Source Rouge 2017
    Bottle
    £28.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £342.00
  4. Bellet: Domaine de la Source Rosé 2018
    Bottle
    £27.25
    Bottle (Case)
    £327.00
  5. Cassis: Clos Sainte Magdeleine 'Bel-Arme' Blanc 2018
    Magnum
    £65.00
    Magnum (Case)
    £390.00
  6. Bellet: Domaine de la Source Blanc 2018
    Bottle
    £27.25
    Bottle (Case)
    £327.00
  7. Château Simone Rosé 2019
    Bottle
    £39.75
    Bottle (Case)
    £477.00
  8. Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence: Domaine des Oullières Rouge 2018
    Bottle
    £12.75
    Bottle (Case)
    £153.00
  9. Cassis: Clos Sainte Magdeleine Blanc 2019
    Bottle
    £23.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £282.00
  10. Côtes de Provence: Clos Sainte Magdeleine Rosé 2019
    Bottle
    £18.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £227.40
    Magnum
    £39.95
    Magnum (Case)
    £239.70
  11. Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence: Domaine des Oullières Rosé 2019
    Bottle
    £12.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £150.00
  12. Cassis: Clos Sainte Magdeleine Rosé 2019
    Bottle
    £23.75
    Bottle (Case)
    £285.00
  13. Côtes du Luberon: Château la Canorgue Blanc 2019
    Bottle
    £16.25
    Bottle (Case)
    £195.00
  14. Côtes du Luberon: Château La Canorgue Rosé 2019
    Bottle
    £15.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £191.40
  15. Bandol: Mas de la Rouvière Blanc 2019
    Bottle
    £20.75
    Bottle (Case)
    £249.00
  16. Bandol: Mas de la Rouvière Rosé 2019
    Bottle
    £19.75
    Bottle (Case)
    £237.00
  17. Jura Arbois: Vin Jaune Domaine Jean-Louis Tissot 2013
    Bottle
    £35.00
    Bottle (Case)
    £420.00
  18. Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence: Domaine des Oullières Blanc 2019
    Bottle
    £12.75
    Bottle (Case)
    £153.00
  19. IGP Méditerranée: Domaine Richeaume 'Tradition' Blanc 2018
    Bottle
    £18.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £227.40
  20. IGP Méditerranée: Domaine Richeaume 'Cuvée Tradition' 2017
    Bottle
    £19.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £234.00
  21. Château Simone Blanc 2017
    Bottle
    £39.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £479.40
    Magnum
    £85.00
    Magnum (Case)
    £510.00
  22. Côtes du Luberon: Château la Canorgue Rouge 2017
    Bottle
    £15.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £191.40
  23. IGP Les Alpilles: Domaine de Trévallon Rouge 2014
    Magnum
    £110.00
    Magnum (Case)
    £660.00
  24. Jura Arbois: Savagnin Domaine Jean-Louis Tissot 2016
    Bottle
    £19.75
    Bottle (Case)
    £237.00
  25. Cassis: Clos Sainte Magdeleine Rosé 2018
    Magnum
    £54.00
    Magnum (Case)
    £324.00
  26. Bandol: Mas de la Rouvière Rosé 2017
    Magnum
    £55.00
    Magnum (Case)
    £330.00
  27. Jura Arbois: Vin de Paille Domaine Jean-Louis Tissot 2012
    Half Bottle
    £26.75
    Half Bottle (Case)
    £642.00
  28. Crémant du Jura: Domaine Jean-Louis Tissot
    Bottle
    £14.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £179.40
  29. Cassis: Clos Sainte Magdeleine Blanc 2017
    Magnum
    £49.95
    Magnum (Case)
    £299.70
  30. Cassis: Clos Sainte Magdeleine 'Bel-Arme' Blanc 2017
    Bottle
    £32.00
    Bottle (Case)
    £384.00
  31. Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhône: Domaine de Trévallon 2003
    Bottle
    £98.00
    Bottle (Case)
    £1,176.00
    Magnum
    £198.00
    Magnum (Case)
    £1,188.00
  32. Jura Arbois: Trousseau Domaine Jean-Louis Tissot 2017
    Bottle
    £15.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £191.40
  33. IGP Méditerranée: Domaine Richeaume 'Cuvée Columelle' 2016
    Bottle
    £29.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £354.00
  34. Château Simone Rouge 2015
    Bottle
    £39.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £479.40
    Magnum
    £85.00
    Magnum (Case)
    £510.00
  35. Bandol: Mas de la Rouvière Rouge 2015
    Magnum
    £58.00
    Magnum (Case)
    £348.00
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Jura Wine Region:

With just over 2,000 hectares under vine, running in a narrow strip from Arbois in the north to Saint-Amour in the south, the Jura represents something of a footnote in French viticulture, albeit a very important one. In this relatively remote, land-locked wilderness traditional grape varieties and techniques have survived yielding wines of great character and a strong sense of ‘terroir’ or taste pertaining to location.

Despite its relatively small size (equivalent to Sancerre) the Jura is home to 5 grape varieties, 6 AOCs and 200 estates of various sizes. There are four geographic AOCs – Arbois, L’Etoile, Côtes du Jura and Château-Chalon (exclusively Vin Jaune) - and two product AOCs – Crémant du Jura and Macvin du Jura (a blend of grape juice and spirit, like a Pineau).

As for the wines themselves, the traditional whites from the Savagnin grape are sherry-like (if the barrels are not top-upped), while the reds (Poulsard and Trousseau) are light in colour, fruity and elegant rather than rich. Fans of cru Beaujolais or lighter Pinot Noirs would appreciate them. Sparkling Crémant is also made - from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as tiny volumes of deliciously sweet Vin de Paille (from grapes that have dried in lofts over the winter).

As one might expect, the wines are at home with the dishes of the Jura – reds with Morteau sausages, whites with Comté cheese, none more so than Vin Jaune, aged for 6 years and 3 months before release and served in its unique 62cl bottle called a clavelin. The Jura is proud of its heritage (especially its most famous son, Louis Pasteur) and has heroically defended its wine culture – in 1973 its winemakers descended on Strasbourg armed with clavelins and 15kg Comté cheeses to see off the threat of the EU harmonising bottle sizes!