Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another 3-Pack: Jura Obscura

OK, full disclosure...this 3-Pack is really a 2-Pack. But we like consistency in titles, so live with it.
Onto the wine...continuing with the theme of Weird but Good, we're heading to a obscure region where obscure grapes are used to make wines in obscure styles.

The Jura is a region in the far east of France - so far east that it's practically Switzerland. We're heading into Alpine territory here, and these are wines that make us want to yoddle!

You've probably never heard of the Jura's most famous wine, vin jaune, which lasts forever and has some of the same funky, tangy nutty notes as a good sherry. You've probably never heard of some of its most important grapes (Savagnin, Poulsard, Trousseau.) And you've probably never had wines that taste quite like the wines in this 2-Pack. But there's a good chance you'll like them.

We're featuring a red and a white from Domaine Andre et Mireille Tissot, both made from grapes grown in the Arbois region of the Jura. Many producers in this region farm biodynamically and produce wines as naturally as possible, adding nothing except possibly a very small amount of sulfur. The Tissot husband and wife team is no exception. If you're curious about natural wines this is a great region - and producer - to check out.

Tissot Arbois Selection 2004 (Chardonnay/Savagnin): Yes, that's Savagnin, not Sauvignon. And you may think you know Chardonnay, but we can practically guarantee you don't know this Chardonnay. Made in the traditional Jura style, the wine is slightly oxidized, but in a good way. You'll get bruised apples, nutty notes, a slight sherry tang and a spine of racy acidity that keeps the wine going for days. It actually improves if you leave it open for a couple days. Yes, days. It's a great match with stinky cheeses, chicken dishes, and pork chops.

Tissot Arbois Vielles Vignes 2006 (Poulsard): There's some Pinot Noir grown in the Jura, but the wine geek favorite would be the rarely-seen-elsewhere Poulsard. This grape makes for a wine that's light in color, medium in body, but big in flavor: bright, fresh, slightly tart cherries, exotic spice, a hint of autumn underbrush, and a fresh minerality, like fresh chalky soil. Bright acidity and surprisingly sneaky tannins give the wine some structure. Best with a very slight chill, it's a wine that can pair with a surprising variety of foods, but duck with cherry glaze or lamb rubbed in fresh herbs might be just about perfect.

PRICING: $35.99 (regular price $39.98). Click through to Frankly Wines to buy your little piece of obscurity.


rivercitycellars said...

What a great write-up. I do so love those wacky wonderful wines! The Tissot is a long time favorite. One day I'm going to organize a wine geek trip to the Percee du vin Jaune festival for obscene amounts of Comte & oxidation.

Christy said...

I am all over that trip! I love a little oxidation in my life. Keeps me stable :-) (Alright, that's really bad wine chem humor!!)

Nick said...

Just found a bottle of the Poulsard in Paris. I never got to try it in NYC. Yummmmm! And sans soufre! (That means without sulfur).