Why the Big Apple loves the Jura

3rd July, 2013 by db_staff - This article is over multiple pages: 1 2 3

Jura’s Myriad Wine Styles

Jura Wine by Wink LorchFrom a region with only five grape varieties (Chardonnay and Savagnin for whites; Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir for reds) grown on less than 2,000 hectares, Jura makes a plethora of styles. Today, around 25% of Jura’s output is accounted for by Crémant du Jura white (mainly from Chardonnay) as well as some pink; in terms of world exports Crémant accounts for around half the volume. With a high average quality and a moderate price, these sparkling wines make an easy sell and several New York restaurants and bars offer them by the glass at a price usually a touch above cava or Prosecco.

The reds are light in colour but appeal to those searching for a Burgundy alternative, and in particular the lightest of them all, Poulsard (the largest volume red) has become a trendy wine for New Yorkers. Sophie Barrett of Chambers Street Wines in New York’s TriBeCa district, a retailer with an organic focus, that regularly stocks around 20 lines from Jura explains: “The popularity of Jura wines started with people’s desire for light reds: Loire, Burgundy, Beaujolais, etc. Light reds from the Jura are gouleyant [thirst quenching], very good chilled, and quite a bit cheaper than most Burgundy. My customers love the lightness and the distinctiveness of Poulsard and its varietal character, which they can identify. Trousseau is more Pinot-like in its varietal character therefore less quintessentially ‘Jura’.”

For the whites, it is the terroir-specific Chardonnays of Stéphane Tissot and Domaine Ganevat (the latter for some years on strict allocation, imported by Kermit Lynch) that appear on up-market restaurant wine lists such as Daniel, alongside Vin Jaune from Domaine Lornet and Château d’Arlay, and Château-Chalon from Domaine Berthet-Bondet. Pascaline Lepeltier of 1-star Michelin Rouge Tomate comments on the whites: “For my customers mostly it needs to be more on the ouillé [topped-up] side – but I also have a lot of wine lovers who come here for the ‘real deal’ – the oxidative Vin jaune and non-ouillé.” In retail, Barrett of Chambers Street has a similar experience: “For whites, my geeky customers may pay lip service to the sous voile [oxidative] styles, but in reality they’re buying the ouillé wines more often. I have some guys, for example, who really like voile wines themselves but tell me their wives don’t enjoy those flavours, which leads them to ouillé Savagnins and Chardonnays.”

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