March Dirt Wine Club – A Peek at the Jura!

March Dirt – Introducing the Marquis!

Just about at the halfway mark on the drive from Burgundy to Switzerland is the tiny, almost unknown, Jura wine region. It is often the case that merchants and sommeliers will sell a new region’s wines just because of their perceived “newness”. The Jura is compelling not simply because it is new for the consumer. It’s one of those rare remaining crannies of the wine world that has enjoyed a limited radius of exposure while also producing beautiful wines that allow the drinker to almost directly sense the place in the glass.

A little over a decade ago, the Marquis d’Angerville was sitting in a bistro in Paris, drinking wine with friends. No Guillaume (that’s the Marquis) is a great winemaker. If you’ve never had a bottle of Marquis d’Angerville Volnay, you’re missing out on what is one of Burgundy’s finest wines. We’ll remedy that at another time. Back to the Bistro. As it was told to me, the waiter poured a bottle of red wine for the table and it raised some eyebrows. After some speculation, the Marquis guessed that what he was drinking was a very fine bottle of Burgundy from an excellent producer. When the waiter finally made it back to the table, he surprised them all by unveiling a bottle of poulsard from the Jura. That was the beginning of a 5-year quest for Guillaume. He was dead set on finding great vineyards and making great wine in the Jura. That quest would eventually lead him to purchase and extraordinary set of vineyards from a couple of venerable producers without heirs to their vines or wineries. With the 2012 vintage, Guillaume’s Domaine du Pélican released its first set of wines. I’ve been trying to get them ever since. The wines have become truly rare. I’m happy to report that they have just now landed at Dedalus and that we are happily introducing them to Vermont via the Dirt wine club.

2014, Arbois “Trois Cépages”, Domaine du Pélican
Included in this month’s selection is the beautiful Trois Cépages, a blend of the Jura’s three primary red varieties; pinot noir, trousseau, and poulsard. It is a beautiful, perfumed wine that starts out with a bit of freshly tilled earth before easing in to a complex swirl of red fruit and florals.

When the Marquis set out to reestablish some of his new vineyard holdings, he turned to Domaine de la Pinte and their viticulturist, Bruno Ciofi. Domaine de La Pinte has been a leading regional domaine for years, and in fact, has been an inspiration for a host of young winemakers both in France and here in the United States. Their vines provided the massal cuttings the Marquis used to replant his vineyards. The Marquis is obsessed with his vineyards. His choice of source material was no accident. de la Pinte’s vines produce extraordinary fruit, and their wines are transparent, pure, and recognizable immediately as benchmarks for the region.

2014, Arbois Poulsard, Domaine de la Pinte
Domaine de la Pinte’s poulsard is translucent, bordering on transparent. It is a beautiful, shimmering ruby color that belies its lightness. Fresh strawberries and raspberries pour out of the glass. There is a beautiful whiff of clementine and even a bit of black pepper in there. Chill this for about 15 minutes before opening it.