Jura Wines with Attitude

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Vin Jaunes

The ultimate in oxidative wine is vin jaune (yellow wine). It’s made Jura known throughout the wine world for its extreme concentration and range of flavors, from smoky to yeasty, with intense acidity. 

To become a vin jaune, the wine (generally made from Savagnin) is aged in barrel for six years and three months. During this time, a layer of yeast forms on the surface and protects the wine from air.

Patrice Beguet, of Domaine Hughes-Beguet in Arbois, calls the process “a mystery,” and there are concerns of late that barrels are failing to develop the yeast layer. No topping up is allowed, so the wine gradually loses volume and gains concentration. 

The greatest vin jaune comes from Château-Chalon. The wine goes, uniquely, into a clavelin, a 620-ml bottle (allegedly, the amount of wine that comes from a liter of grape juice after aging). 

Drink this extraordinary wine with strong, hard cheeses (like the local Comté), with mushroom dishes, lobster or shrimp. Perhaps the greatest pleasure, however, is to drink it by itself at the end of a meal.

94 Domaine Berthet-Bondet 2006 Vin Jaune (ChâteauChalon). This exceptional example shows why Château-Chalon is so special. Its balance of acidity and fragrant fruitiness underpinning the yeast and almond flavors is unique. It’s ready to drink in all its glory, but will age for many, many years. VOS Selections. Cellar Selection. 
abv: 14.5%      Price: $90/620 ml

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Jura Wines with Attitude

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