Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jurrasic Park

Once again I invited myself to unfamiliar grounds and opened a handful of Jura wines.

Before we get into the tasting notes, I have to underline some personal preferences. You should know that whenever I judge these wines, especially the white wines, I would always compare them to Champagne. This may seem rather irrational - but as the "Champagne bug" is already alive and me not being a professional wine judger - I have the comparison game in the back of my mind, as I need think about what to buy. In this context, the reds have an advantage, as they target other values and food paring, so I will not see them as an alternative to Champagne.

Let’s go Jura.

2008 Jean Francois Ganevat "Les Chalasses Marnes Bleues

Blend: 100% Savignin
0% Sulphur

I was told to decant this wine - now I know why.

Right after the opening the wine has a lot of extra weight in terms of newborn baby fat fruit. It's providing lush, fat and creamy sensations of honey melon with a slightly oxidation. There is also a small film of flour running on top of the fruit core with even has the companionship of yeasty notes, which is interesting in terms of aromas, but preventing more immediate freshness to step forward. Taste follows up with oily touches and mouth coating appeal. At this stage its okay'-ish wine - but nothing more.

2 hours later.

Clouds are gone and we have sunshine. In the glass is a far more vibrant and fresh wine. Underneath you sense erosion of minerality, which is even more apparent on the palate, where the wine presents itself with splendid definition and tallness. However you still have these yeasty notes, which is providing some sweet pastry notes, but they have taken a step backwards.

This is indeed an interesting wine, with good cellar potential. There are some aspects to deal with for me to do summersaults, but I am indeed intrigued and willing to learn more.

2009 Jean Francois Ganevat "Pinot Noir Cuvée Julien"

Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Vines: Planted partly in 1951 and 1977
0% Sulphur

I am such an easy target, when it comes to wines like this. As soon as that bright red fruit hits my nostrils I go into a happy dolphin mode. Here you have the finest and freshly picked raspberries, providing overall divine brightness and purity. There is also a small layer of dust. It's the same pattern I have seen with the wines from Fanny Sabre. It's very interesting as it gives better structure (almost like small grain particles) and prevents it from being too polished. Taste is pure, fine - yet there is also a wet soil element on the last meters, which takes it a little notch down in definition and quality, as I would have liked even more mineral bite.

Still - loved it and my overall favourite of these wines.

(2009 Jean Francois Ganevat "Pinot Noir Cuvée Julien")

2009 Jean Francois Ganevat "Poulsard Cuvée de L'enfant terrible"

Blend: 100% Poulsard
Vines: Planted in 1959

Completely different wine, when you have just tasted the Pinot Noir. When it comes to purity, I prefer the Pinot Noir. But that's like comparing apples with bananas, as the character of this grape is so different. You could say the Pinot is easier to understand, while this wine is a bit more intellectual. Having only tasted so few wines made from this Poulsard/ Ploussard grape - I would say it ranks as the best I have tasted.

First thing I would line out is that I prefer it rather cold. Tasting it around 15 degrees just makes it friskier. It's also a wine, which is in need of some air in order to loose some smoky components. In the glass you have a very light coloured wine - which to me always is a sense treat. The nose in rather interesting and there is so many things going on - like; wet forest, rusty iron, cranberries, cherries, leather, iodine, black olives, smoke and ashes. Taste is fresh, light in structure and with aromas of that wet forest and dried fruits. It's certainly not what I would call a mouth coating and lush wine. NO! - It rather rustic, but there is brilliant fresh curl around the tongue and the taste is rather intense, despite it's a fragile breed.

When I taste wine like this - I feel I have left a world of pumped opulent fruit with massive sweet oak appeal. Sure - I make such comparison sound simplified, revolting and beneficiary to my point. But what I want to state is that I feel this wine is like a time bubble. Time stands still here. It taste like wine made 1000 years ago. That's a good thing, as it's very honest and genuine wine.

So, I liked it a lot, but still find myself in a comparison with that red fruit I adore. This wine has some of it, but it's not all about shining red fruit. Without food - I prefer the Pinot Noir. I also prefer the Pinot Noir for laid back drinking. With food - I would go for this one, as you have so many options.

2007 Domaine de la Tournelle “Fleur de Savignin”

Blend: 100% Savignin

This wine was enjoyed with some guest we had over for dinner, so I didn’t write any notes. Right after the opening I was a bit concerned with it’s dominating smokiness and oxidized notes. There were even some cheese associations coming forward. However I learned to like the wine for two reasons. The smoky notes, takes a small back backward as it opens up and secondly it’s not the kind of smoke, you normally connect with white wines, which has seen too much oak and are dull on all parameters. No! – The wine is in fact rather slim and silky on the palate and with splendid mineral bite. So when returning to the nose, there is suddenly harmony. It’s not my favourite wine, but one should remember it’s a very fair price wine and that’s worth having in mind.

2008 Jean Francois Ganevat "Cuvée Orégane"

Blend: Chardonnay & Savignin

Served this wine with fried fresh salmon, dressing of yoghurt with nutmeg and on the side Pearl barley with broccoli, hazelnuts and cress. Worked great with the wine.

Again air is so giving to this type of wine. First I saw the typical note of melon, which is classic for Chardonnay. But I am not always happy about this note. Luckily it plays more than the guitar and the orchestra starts to give notes of; smoke, butter, yeast, yellow plums and hay. But really the best is the splendid freshness and purity of the wine. On the palate you can’t help to notice a small membrane of what texture wise feels like milk-skin and it’s giving the wine an elastic structure but also a delicate subtle mouth feel. Once again the mineral bite is constantly on the rise and with the texture frame it’s providing a solid anchoring of a fresh, sleek and delicious white wine. Yummy…really liked it.

With all wines; Glass: Zalto Burgundy

So – me like Jura – me wanna learn more….oh dear oh dear…it never ends, does it?


Voodoo Child said...

Voila Thomas,

A last something different!
Dom. Tournelle and Overnoy?

I have had my share too...
Friday( Tommorow) Vin Jaune Tournelle 2002 with some Comté!

Thomas said...

Hi Ebbe,

Yes - go Jura go Jura.

No Overnoy this time, but there is a TN on the site from him.

Looking forward to hear about the Tournelle ;-).

Best from,

Voodoo Child said...

Hola Thomas,
Vin Jaune herlig ,let ,elegant drik.Har helt klare reminiscenser til Sherry e.g. Fino, bare med mindre alkohol, jeg er solgt.

alex said...

hi thomas,

a living sign from the champagne importer in germany.

what a small world and family...

always the same names, styles and targets :-)

my favourite winemaker in jura - not only for importing, but enjoying - is:

Puffeney! i am pretty sure, that you all know this 'Majestix-from Asterix'-like winemaker...

for me his wines has the wildness of overnoy-style and combined this perfect with the pureness and minerality of ganevat, who is a little bit too commercial for my opinion, wonderful wines, yeah, but also a little monolithic and not as full of facetts as the Puffeney energy in the glass, but this is my taste...

thanks for your nice blog,

all the best and

greetings from germany


Voodoo Child said...

At last Jura from the Man!
I agree on every note, these wines just needs food , the whites ones Cheese especially from JURA.
Welldone Bro.

Thomas said...

Thank you, Ebbe. It seems like the curiosity never stops. I find Jura very interesting, but in the long run I will have to prioritize Champagne…unless I win in the lottery. But I will keep testing bottles here and there.

Alex – how cozy of you to chime in.

I am novice in Jura and I couldn’t say what it hot and what’s not. I will keep and eye for Puffeney.

Commercial strikes me a bid odd – despite my lack of knowledge to the producers in Jura. If you wanna talk commercial, I can come up with a whole different approach…now who said big house Champagne producers ;-).

Best from,

Anonymous said...

Everybody wants to wine in the lottery..

Voodoo Child said...

Hi Thomas,
According to Puffeney that was where I started many years ago, brought them home in my car...just not ready then, today I think Ganavat is my fav. and Tournelles, had a sip last night from their Chardonnay 2005 called Curon..fabulous.
Tonight I have a visit from Italy, Andrea Sottimano, he will be marinated in Champagne/Beaujolais/Jura
Have a nice Week-end

Thomas said...

So you know more about Jura than me, Ebbe. Everything is rather new to me.

Tonight I go really old-school (I am home alone) with a 1996 Clos Jebsal from Zind Humbrecht. I will match it with terrine de Foie Gras and some Comté later.

Voodoo Child said...

Hi Thomas,
Bought any Vin Jaune?

Thomas said...

Hi Ebbe,

Nope, haven't bought any Vin Jaune.



vimpressionniste said...

Nice tasting! Interesting that you compare the wines to Champagne.. the first time I tried Selosse's Brut Initial, I immediately thought of Jura... the "traditional" style that is. By the way, I was under the impression that the "Fleur de Savagnin" was non-oxidized.

PS: I try to keep track of what's going on in the Jura on my FB page:

Thomas said...

Hi Didier,

Thank you.

As stated, Jura is new to me. You probably know more than me. I am still on the curiosity level.

Some of the resemblance between Champagne and these wines could be linked to their purity and yeasty tones, I think.

Cool about the FB Jura page – I have added it to my favourite.

Best from,