GRAPE VARIETIES There are five main grapes grown in the region. Because of the unique grapes, blends and terroirs, one of the best introductions to the wines is over a leisurely meal discussing the wine and food choices with the waiters.
Savagnin a unique Jura grape variety similare to Traminer and Gewürztraminer, and is the basis of Vin Jaune and Vin de Paille. It is also blended with Chardonnay to make interesting white variations. The color varies from pale yellow to straw. Often aged in oak casks for up to four years, the wines acquire the characteristic Jura fruity, nutty bouquet. Tips: Served the whites slightly chilled, they go well with traditional white wine entrees, fish and regional dishes cooked in cream and cheese sauce.
Chardonnay, the most widely spread grape variety in the Jura wine region, produces flowery and fruity wines. known locally as Melon d'Arbois and Gamay Blanc now represents nearly one half of Jura's total vineyard, and is most often used to make wines in a fresher, fruiter, more modern style
Poulsard or Ploussard is a unique variety of the Jura and grows mainly in Pupillin and Arbois. It produces a delicately fruited red wine, more like a rose in with and orange or copper color.It is also one of the primary grapes for the vin de paille.
Trousseau - ripe fruit and berry flavours some with hints of pepper produces, produces well-structured wines many capable of aging.. Blended with Poulsard, it gives a interesting red wine, unique to Jura.
Pinot Noir is grown mainly in the Arlay region. With tannic and aromatic structure and cherry,strawberry, blackberry and even woddy. flavours. It produces medium-bodied reds with perfumed aromas that evolve with age. It is sometimes blended with Pousard to deepen the color of this paler grape.
Arbois, the first AOC set up (15th May 1936). Excellent wines produced are as dry whites, rosés, reds, Vin Jaune, Vin de Paille and a sparkling Cremant.
All five of the grape varieties in the area, producing 70% red wines and 30% whites. Other villages featuring in this AOC are: Abergement-le-Grand, Les Arsures, Mathenay, Montigny-les-Arsures, Mesnay, Molamboz, Les-Planches-pres Arbois, Pupillin, Saint-Cyr-Montmalin, Vadans and Villette-les-Arbois.
Côtes du Jura: AOC was created on 31st July 1937, the appellation Côtes du Jura is the largest of the Jura AOCs . It runs from the north of the region to the south, with many contrasting “terroirs” giving to a large variety of wines. The most important wine areas are Arlay, Beaufort, Buvilly, Gevigney, Lavigny, Mantry, Passenans, Poligny, Rotalier, Saint-Lothain, Toulouse-le-Chateau, Le Vernois, Vincelles and Voiteur. ‘.
L’Etoile – This AC is mainly for white wines including Vin Jaune with the Vin de Paille allowed to have the red Poulsard grape. The village named because it sits surrounded by five hills making the points of a star and because the vineyards contain star shaped fossils. The main grape grown is Chardonnay, with some Savagnin and a small amount Poulsard grown for the production of Vin de Paille. .
Côtes du Jura Côtes du Jura
Chateau-Chalon AOC produces exclusively Vin Jaune, made only from the Savagnin grape. Its superb wine from a very small area with the very high quality maintained through severe checks and grape monitoring. Excellent location for lunch time stop.
Crémant-du-jura a delicate and elegant sparkling wine with aromas and flavours of apples, brioche and hazelnut. The Jura wine region was awarded the appellation Crémant du Jura in 1995. This sparkling wine is can be produced from the Chardonnay, Poulsard, and Pinot Noir grapes. The same strict rules for methode traditionelle production as Champagne apply. It comes in Brut or Demi-Sec, white or rosé, from L'Etoile, Arbois or Côtes du Jura. Chardonnay must be used for at least 50% of the wine. For the Crémant du Jura rosé the Poulsard and Pinot Noir grapes must account for at minimum 50% between them. The grapes also must be harvested by hand and transported to the cellar in slatted crates and the bunches then pressed whole.
Macvin du Jura
This AOC covers the whole of the Jura wine region and accounts for 3% of Jura AOC production. Macvin is a “mistelles”, a (fortified) wine of France having an AOC, and is the only one of these to be made from a grape “eau-de-vie” and not from wine. Since the 14th century, Macvin has been made from non-fermented grape juice, the must of the pressings, to which is added one third Jura brandy - Marc du Jura. Matured for at least 12 months in oak barrels, the alcohol content must be 16° to 22° to be granted its AOC. All of the five grape varieties of the Jura - Trousseau, Chardonnay, Savagnin, Poulsard and Pinot Noir - are permitted to be used in the production. It can be either red or white but normally it is white. The “eau-de-vie” used for the production of Macvin is made by distilling Marc du Jura, which in turn has to mature for 18 months in oak barrels before being used to make
Unique wines and Wine Styles
Vin Jaune -A dry sherry like wine with walnut and almond spice flavours, and with high acidity. This “yellow wine” is picked late (after All Saints Day, 1st November), the grapes -Savagnin variety- are then pressed and slowly fermented. The wine is aged in 228 litre oak casks for at least 6 years and 3 months without racking or ullage. A film of yeast grows on the surface protecting the wine from the air - oxidation. Complex aromas and flavours are formed is in this process and with ageing. Utilage- topping up-is not allowed and amount and after six years of aging the theoretical amount left from a litre of wine is 62cl., so a unique bottle called Clavelins, holding 62cl is used. The missing 38cl from a litre makes up ‘la part des anges’, “ the angels’ share”, which evaporates during the six years ageing. It keeps for a long time over 10 years. Vin Jaune is an intensely flavored wine requires decanting prior to drinking and it is suggested to open several hours before drinking, and serve at 14 – 17°C. Ideal as aperitif or for food matching try local specialities such as "Coq au Vin" or trout and It is delicious served with Comte Cheese, nuts, goose liver or dried fruits.
Vin de Paille or ‘straw wine’ - a medium to very sweet wine high in alcohol, with flavours of prune, carmel honey, or preserved oranges.
It’s made from grapes hand picked very ripe –the white grapes Savagnin and Chardonnay and the red grape Poulsard which gives the copper tint to the wine. These are dried out for at least six weeks on straw mats or on on chalk or hung up. This concentrates the sugars and then after pressing, a slow fermentation produces a sweet wine with between 14.5° and 17° alcohol. It’s aged for 3 years in small barrels. Rare and expensive, this wine is said to have medicinal benefits. Honey and candy flavoured, it is best served chilled as aperitif, dessert or with "Foie Gras".
Rosé and Red Wines - Fruity and light to medium serve slightly chilled.
The red wines are produced from the three grape varieties each having its own varietal characteristics. Poulsard grape for finish and fruit, Trousseau grape for body and tannin, and Pinot Noir grape for color and smoothness. Those not aged in oak are produced to be drunk early, while other reds are aged from one to three years in oak barrels. Most reds are well-structured, light in color, with a fruity, lightweight flavour. The wines can be single varietals or blended this along with the oak or no oak aging makes for a large selection of styles and flavours. T
Trousseau, ripe fruit and berry flavours ome with hints of pepper . is perfect with meats, game and cheese.
Poulsard, served at room temperature, is excellent with appetizers or with regional "Charcuterie".
Rosé wines of Arbois and Pupillin have fruity flavour and are best served slightly chilled. Made mainly from the Poulsad grape in which in maturing this turns pink. Rose variations are also made from Trousseau or Pinot Noir adding some interest to tasting room visits.
The white Jura wines are produced from two grapes: Chardonnay and Savagnin. These two varieties are vinified alone or combined. The Chardonnay, which is the main grape used for Jura white wines, produces flowery and fruity wines with flavours of apple, spice or lemon and sometime honey and almond . The Savagnin is the gem of Jura's varieties. Their color varies from pale yellow to straw. During their aging in oak casks for up to four years, they acquire the characteristic Jura fruity, nutty bouquet. Tips: Served the whites slightly chilled, they go well with traditional white wine entrees, fish and regional dishes cooked in cream and cheese sauce.
Pontarlier Anis - A refreshing apertifi when mixed with water and served chilled. An Aperitif drink, produced in Pontarlier, of the Haut-Doubs region. , based on green anis seeds. Its spirit brother is the infamous PONTARLIER ABSINTHE an anise-flavoured spirit made from herbs, including the flowers and leaves of the herb Artemisia absinthium, commonly referred to as "grande wormwood", However today, none of the orginal chemicals considered harmful are used. This drink still retains all the absinthe-tasting character traits This is the drink associated with the soul destroying "Green Fairy", the aperitif with a very high alcohol content which was banned in 1914.
Kirsch - An apertif for summer afternoons or winter evenings by a fire.
Made from cherries, the quality Kirsch from Franche-Comte is produced mainly in two different villages. Mouthier-Haute-Pierre, is known for its kirsch made from sweet black Marsotte cherries. The Kirsch made in Fougerolles in Haute-Saone department is valued for the quality of the Guignes cherries used.