Jura Wine

Shop By

Jura Wine

We first visited siblings Valérie and Jean-Christophe Tissot at Domaine Jean-Louis Tissot in the hill village of Montigny-lès-Arsures above Arbois in the spring of 2016. We really must have been quite impressed because we took down pages of notes and placed our inaugural order 'sûr place'.

One of the appealing things about the Jura is that it is quite self-contained and outside influence is minimal. It isn't bristling with oenologues, marketeers and traditional techniques - grape varieties and food and wine pairings all find favour. A case in point is the local specialty 'Vin Jaune' that is made from pure Savagnin that must be aged for a minimum of 6 years and 3 months before filling traditional 62-centilitre squat 'Clavelin' bottles for which special EU dispensation had to be claimed. The style is intentionally oxidative as it is aged under a film of yeast (named 'flor') and the finished wine has - as the name suggests - a deep, yellow colour, distinctive, sherry-like aromas, stone-fruit characteristics, nutty nuances and incredible length and longevity. It is typically served at cellar temperature and is beloved by chefs for adding flavour to food (notably poultry). Pure Savagnin is also used to make very dry and persistent still, white wine that has powerful flor scents and dried fruit notes underscored by racy acidity that will support more than 10 years bottle age. It pairs well with air-dried ham and the local Comté cheese.

Red wines in this hill country are also made from relatively rare and distinctive grape varieties. Poulsard is pale with a cherry and red fruit bouquet, racy raspberry palate, gentle peppery notes and supple tannins and drinks well on its youthful fruit. Another local grape - Trousseau - yields a wine that is deeper and darker with hedgerow berry scents, a core of black fruit and more robust tannins. It ages well for 3 to 5 years and makes a good accompaniment to grilled red meat or mushroom dishes. Nor to be overlooked is a brilliant bottle-fermented, sparkling Crémant de Jura. It is made from pure Chardonnay that is aged for at least a year before being disgorged and has a lovely, lively mousse, ripe apple aromas and zesty, citrus-edged finish. It is perfect for celebrations and makes a fine foil for canapés.

Completing a diverse and extensive range is a heady, sweet Vin de Paille. It is made from a blend of Savagnin, Poulsard and Chardonnay that are air-dried on beds of straw over winter before being crushed and vinified. The wine is then aged in barrel for 3 years before being bottled in slim half-bottles. Redolent of dried fruit, honey and roast nuts, it has a dark tawny hue and makes a fine bonne bouche or partner to rich puddings.

View as Grid List
per page
  1. Jura Arbois: Trousseau Domaine Jean-Louis Tissot 2022
    Bottle
    £19.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £239.40
  2. Savoie: Domaine de l'Idylle 'Vieille Vigne' Blanc 2022
    Bottle
    £15.45
    Bottle (Case)
    £185.40
  3. Savoie: Domaine de L'Idylle 'Cuvée Emilie' Roussette 2022
    Bottle
    £20.45
    Bottle (Case)
    £245.40
  4. Savoie: Domaine de L'Idylle Cruet Alpine Jacquère 2022
    Bottle
    £14.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £179.40
  5. Jura Arbois: Savagnin Domaine Jean-Louis Tissot 2020
    Bottle
    £23.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £287.40
  6. Jura Arbois: Vin de Paille Domaine Jean-Louis Tissot 2014
    Half Bottle
    £32.25
    Half Bottle (Case)
    £774.00
  7. Savoie: Domaine de L'Idylle Mondeuse 'Le Tithonien' 2020
    Half Bottle
    £9.50
    Half Bottle (Case)
    £228.00
  8. Crémant du Jura: Domaine Jean-Louis Tissot
    Bottle
    £18.25
    Bottle (Case)
    £219.00
  9. Crémant de Savoie: Domaine de L'Idylle Brut
    Bottle
    £19.70
    Bottle (Case)
    £236.40
View as Grid List
per page

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!