Saturday, February 28, 2015

France Unit 5 - Beaujolais, Jura and Savoie


The following are my notes for studying the wines of the Beaujolais, Jura and Savoie regions of France. In these notes I’ll provide information about the viticultural history, topography, climate, soils, important red and white grapes and the AOCs of the regions. I also include notes on the wines tasted during in the French Wine Scholar class (FWS – 04 Beaujolais, Jura and Savoie).

The Viticultural and Political Boundaries of Beaujolais


If understanding France wasn’t complicated enough, trying to distinguish the differences between the viticultural boundaries and political boundaries adds another layer of complexity that makes studying this country a bit more challenging. After the French Revolution “Provinces” were eliminated and the country was divided into “regions” and “départements”. The wine region boundaries do not correspond to the administrative districts within France. Consequently, the vineyards of Beaujolais are in two separate départements and each of these are in different administrative regions.

There are two Inter-Preofessional organizations that promote Bourgogne and Beaujolais – the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vines de Bourgogne and Inter-Beaujolais. Although they are often discussed as being under the same geographical umbrella, the wine regions of Bourgogne and Beaujolais are independent of each other for viticultural research, vinicultural development and marketing. Consequently there are 6 communes in Beaujolais that can provide fruit for Bourgogne Blanc, 42 communes in Beaujolais that can provide Chardonnay for Bourgogne Aligoté, and there are 19 communes in Beaujolais that can provide fruit for Bourgogne Gamay.[1]

The Viticultural History of Beaujolais

Beaujolais was first cultivated by the Romans who planted vines from the Rhône through the Saône River Valley. After the fall of the Roman Empire (410 AD) the Catholic Church became the dominant shepherds of wine and from the 7th century through the Middle Ages the Benedictine Monks were the primary vignerons.

In 1395, Philippe the Bold, Duke of Burgogne, outlawed Gamay in the Côte d'Or so it found its home on soils more suited for the grape in Beaujolais. Further south, Lyon became the primary market for Beaujolais and heavy taxes on non-local wines guaranteed loyal customers.

The Modern Era

In the 19th century the railway system expanded which enabled Beaujolais to expand its market into Paris. Between 1936 and 1938 eight of the ten Beaujolais Cru established followed by St. Amor in 1946 and Régnié in 1988. In the 1950s Beaujolais Nouveau became popular in Paris and by the 1990’s it grew to consist of 1/3 of Beaujolai production.[2]

Geography of Beaujolais
Beaujolais is south of the Mâconnais and north of Lyon, the Monts du Beaujolais to the west, the Saône River to the east which is sourced in the Vosges mountain range and runs south for 300 miles through Lyon and joins the Rhône River. Beaujolais covers parts of the north of the Rhône département (Rhône-Alpes) and parts of the south of the Saône-et-Loire département (Bourgogne).
Climate of Beaujolais
Beaujolais has semi-continental climate with some temperate influences from the Mediterranean Sea. In general it is warmer than Bourgogne but it snows in the foothills in the western regions about the time that the Beaujolais Nouveau is released in late November. A common viticultural hazard is springtime frost.
Soils of Beaujolais
The soils of Beaujolais divide the region into a northern and southern half, with the town of Villefranche serving as a near dividing point. Northern Beaujolais, also known as the Haut Beaujolais, is where most of the Cru Beaujolais communes are located. It consists of rolling hills of weathered feldspars (a group of minerals distinguished by the presence of alumina and silica (SiO2) in their chemistry), micas (sheet silicate, phyllosilicate, minerals with a tendency towards pseudohexagonal crystals) quartz, sandy soils known locally as “aréne” (from the Latin word arena, meaning sand) and a weathered earthy mass known as gorrhe.[3] The angle of the hillside vineyards in the north exposes the grapes to more sunshine which leads to harvest at an earlier time than the vineyards in the south. Southern Beaujolais, also known as the Bas Beaujolais, has flatter terrain with richer, sandstone and clay based soils with some limestone patches. The vineyards stop before they reach the Saône River as the land is too fertile for producing quality grapes.
White Grapes
Chardonnay
Aligoté
(Until 2024, can be blended into certain white and red wines)
Melon de Bourgogne
Pinot Gris
Red Grapes
Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc
(98% of the plantings in Beaujolais is Gamay)
Pinot Noir
(Until 2015 up to 15% can be blended into Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages and Côte de Brouilly)
Beaujolais Cru
There are 10 Beaujolais Cru which were established in the 1930s.[4]
Brouilly

As far back as 1769, the communes of Brouilly were involved in winemaking and were among the 16 Beaujolais parishes authorized to sell wines to Paris. The Cru is named after a Roman lieutenant, Brulius, who purportedly planted vines here 2000 years ago. The cru covers the lower slopes of Mont Brouilly and the appellation applies only to red wines, namely Gamay. However, Chardonnay, Aligote and Melon de Bourgogne are allowed to make up 15% of the vineyard area, and are permitted as a minor component of the blend in Brouilly wines. Brouilly covers 20% of the Beaujolais Cru area. Its wines are made in six communes: Cercié, Saint-Lager, Charentay, Odenas, Saint-Etienne-la-Varenne and Quincié. On the western side there are thin, sandy soils with a granite bedrock and in the south the soil consists of clay. In the north and east the soil is more transitional with some alluvial deposits of limestone. The pink granite around Saint-Etienne-la-Varenne, Odenas and Quincié contains less acidity, while the limestone-marl around Charentay contains alluvial deposits with traces of crystal and clay from rock erosion. More than 8 million bottles of Brouilly are produced each year.
Côte de Brouilly
Côte de Brouilly is one of the smallest and most southern areas of any of the Beaujolais crus. The soils consist of diorite, a mottled blue stone left by ancient volcanic activity, which tend to be thin and stony, with some clay. Most of the vineyards are on the higher south and east-facing slopes of Mont Brouilly where they are protected from winds and receive early morning sunlight which is enhanced by the steep slopes of the vineyards. Consequently these are some of the first vineyards to be harvested in Beaujolais.
Régnié
Régnié Cru was established on December 8, 1988, making it the youngest of the Crus. The majority of the village’s 950 inhabitants are part of the Régnié winemaking process at one stage or another. Régnié is spread over one square mile on pink granite, mineral-rich terrain. Grapes here are grown on hillsides found approximately 1,150 feet above sea level.
Chiroubles
Chiroubles is also the Cru grown at the highest altitude, cultivated between 820 and 1,475 feet above sea level. Consequently Temperatures in Chiroubles are lower than in other parts of Beaujolais, so is about 5 - 10 days later than other Crus. The region covers a little more than one square mile which accommodates 60 growers, who produce an average of 2.3 million bottles a year.
Fleurie
The Cru was established in 1927, La Cave des Producteurs des Grands Vins de Fleurie is the oldest wine co-operative in the Beaujolais region and it produces about 1/3 of the appellation’s total production. Fleurie is located in the north of Beaujolais and covers an unbroken area of 3 square miles. The soil consists mostly of pinkish granite that is unique to this part of Beaujolais. The area can be divided into two zones. In the higher, steeper areas of the appellation, the soil is thin, acidic and dry. This produces very light and aromatic wines. Below the main village, the terrain is deeper with a little clay. These wines are fuller-bodied and age well. Many winemakers here use a technique called gridding, which involves extracting more color and tannin from the skins of the grapes. In all, 180 growers produce more than 5.5 million bottles a year.
Saint-Amour
Established in 1946, it is the most northerly Cru as well as one of the smallest. The soil consists of a mixture granite, clay, schist and limestone. It comprises 115 growers that produce an average of 1.6 million bottles a year.
Chénas
On the appellation’s rugged northeast slopes, Gamay grapes are grown on just one square mile, producing the rarest of the Beaujolais Crus. This fine, sophisticated wine needs a few years of bottle age to achieve perfection. In just under one square mile, about100 growers produce an average 1.5 million bottles of wine a year.
Juliénas
Juliénas and Jullié, two out of the four communes that produce this appellation, take their name from Julius Caesar, as vines were grown on the communes’ hillsides during the Gallo-Roman period. In the far northwest of the winemaking region, this appellation area encompasses four villages: Juliénas, Jullié, Emeringes and Pruzilly. It includes granite-based soils in the west, ancient alluvial deposits in the east and some sandy soils with clay content as high as 30 percent. In two square miles, 120 producers make about 4 million bottles a year.
Morgon
Morgon is the second largest Cru after Brouilly. It is named after the local hamlet of Morgon, which is in the center of the area and borders the village of Villié-Morgon. The soil in Morgon is rich in iron oxide with traces of manganese and volcanic rock. The Cru has six different vineyards that divide the area into three bands that face south, southeast and northwest, each producing very different styles of wine. In all, 250 producers found across 4.5 square miles make 7.3 million bottles a year.
Moulin-à-Vent
Morgon is the second largest Cru after Brouilly. It is named after the local hamlet of Morgon, which is in the center of the area and borders the village of Villié-Morgon. The soil in Morgon is rich in iron oxide with traces of manganese and volcanic rock. The Cru has six different vineyards that divide the area into three bands that face south, southeast and northwest, each producing very different styles of wine. In all, 250 producers found across 4.5 square miles make 7.3 million bottles a year.
Beaujolais Viniculture
Carbonic maceration and semi-carbonic maceration are common production methods used in the production of red wines in Beaujolais. Carbonic maceration consists of sealing whole clusters or whole berries of red grapes in a tank. Then added carbon dioxide is added which displaces the oxygen. Subsequently the intact whole berries undergo a short intracellular fermentation which metabolizes the glucose and malic acid within the grapes to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide without the aid of yeast. During carbonic maceration, tannins and anthocyanins move from the skins to the flesh of each grape extracting deep color. The grape can develop an alcohol level of approximately 2% before it dies and the cellular activity ceases. The grapes may then rupture due to an internal build-up of carbon dioxide or the winemaker may simply press the juice off the skins. The wine is then fermented dry by the yeast. A more common method is Semi-carbonic maceration in which carbon dioxide is not added, rather whole clusters at the bottom of the tank crush under the weight of those above and begin fermenting normally. As the carbon dioxide is released through fermentation it covers the whole berries above and they begin to ferment within the grape. The result is a wine that is commonly described as having aromas of bubblegum, banana, and pear-drop which may be the result of this unique fermentation process, the particular strain of native yeast, the wine’s youthfulness or a combination. Wines that have gone through some degree of carbonic maceration are typically fruity and highly floral with soft tannins.
Beaujolais Nouveau
Beaujolais Nouveau not an AOC but a style of wine made from 100% Gamay and it is the most popular vin de primeur. By law all grapes are harvested by hand which are then fermented using the semi-carbonic technique for just a few weeks. The result is a wine that is fresh, fruity, and very low in tannins that provides a very quick cash flow for producers. The wine is then released for sale on the third Thursday of November but it has no ability to age so most are purchased before the end of the holidays.







Viticultural History of Jura

Viticulture and Viniculture in Jura dates back to the 1st century AD but it is not until the 18th century that we see any efforts to improve and maintain the quality of the wines. In 1774 there was decree which listed 14 grape varieties to be used in the region and by the end of the 19th century there were 42 different varieties planted on approximately 20,000 ha (50,000 acres).

One of the most important people in the viticultural history of Jura is Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) who was born in Arbois and is considered to be the father of the science of oenology. Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte III (20 April 1808 – 9 January 1873), the nephew of Napoléon I, commissioned Pasteur to investigate the changes already observed during the maturation of wine. Among his discoveries was the vital role of yeast during fermentation so without Pasteur the study of enology would not exist. Louis Pasteur’s vineyard, located just outside of Arbois, today is owned by the firm of Henri Maire.[5]

Then in 1879 the vineyards were devastated by the Phyloxera plague and after replanting 5 remained and the focus changed from red to white wine. Today there are only about 2,000 ha (5,000 acres) under vine with about 450 growers, 220 of which market their own wine.[6]

Geography of Jura
Jura is located between of Bourgogne and Switzerland. The principal cities in the wine region are Lons-le-Saunier and Arbois.
Climate of Jura
Jura has a continental climate with aggressively cold winters. Consequently achieving ripeness can be a challenge and harvest often takes place well into late October. The majority of the regions vineyards are found at altitudes between 250 – 400 meters (820 – 1,310 feet) between the plains of the Bresse region and the Jura Mountains.
Soils of Jura
The vineyard soils of Jura tend to composed of mostly clay in the lower flat lands with more limestone based soils in the higher elevation. Deposits of blue, red and black marl as well as slate are scattered throughout the region. Many vineyard slopes are quite steep which creates problems with soil erosion. [7]
Viticulture and Viniculture
To help lessen the threat of autumn frost, grapevines are often trained to the Guyot system. The vineyards face west, southwest and to a certain extent south. Harvest tends to extend late into the season as picking continues into November. [8]
White Grapes
Chardonnay
Chardonnay makes up 66% of white grapes in Jura and 43% of all grape plantings. It has been grown in Jura since the 10th century and was known as Melon d’Arbois, Moular and Gamay Blanc. It grows best on limestone soils.
Savagnin
Savagnin, also known as Savagnin Blanc (not to be confused with Sauvignon Blanc) is the primary grape in Vin Juane (“Yellow Wine”) and it represents 34% of all white grapes planted and 22% of the total vine area. It grows best on gray shale soils. Some sources state that this is a non-spicy clone of the Traminer grape and is related to Frankisch in Austria, Heida in Switzerland, Formentin in Hungary and Grumin from Bohemia.
Red Grapes
Poulsard
Also known as Plousard, it is a dark skinned grape but yet it used to produce Vin Gris and/or White Wine. Red wines made from the grape tend to be very light in color and much of it is used to produce Rosé wines and Vin de Paille. Poulsard makes up 40% of all red grapes and 14% of total acreage under vine in Jura. It grows best on shale or clay soils.
Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir makes up 37% of all red grapes and 13% of total acreage under vine in Jura. It is used to make single variety wines or is used in blends. [9]
Trousseau
Trousseau is native to the Franche-Comte region has been planted in Jura since the 18th century. It makes up 23% of all red grapes and 8% of total acreage under vine in Jura. It grows best on shale or gravel soils.
Jura AOCs
Arbois AOC
It was the first controlled appellation to be attributed in France, in 1936. Red and rosé wines can be produced from Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir. White wines are made from Chardonnay and Savagnin.
Château-Chalon AOC
Château-Chalon sounds like the name of a producer, but it isn’t. It is a commune that produces only white wines from the Savagnin grape made in the vin jaune (“yellow wine”) style. However, the Château-Chalon wines are not explicitly labeled as vin jaune. The wine is known for its longevity, and ability to age for several decades.
L'Étoile AOC
White wines are made from Chardonnay, Savagnin and Poulsard. The wine is produced on 4 communes: L'Étoile, Plainoiseau, Quintigny, Saint-Didier.
Côtes du Jura AOC
Red and rosé wines are produced from Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir. White wines are made from Chardonnay and Savagnin.
Macvin du Jura AOC
The AOC produces producing late harvest vin du Jura fortified with marc du Jura. On 14 November 1991 it received its AOC designation. It is the latest Jurassian AOC becoming the third vin de liqueur to receive such a designation. Macvin has been in production since the fourteenth century. It is made from five permitted grape varieties, and can be red or rosé when produced from the Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot noir, or white when produced from Chardonnay or Savagnin. The grapes are harvested late in season when their sugar content is at its highest. The grape must is aged in oak barrels for twelve months without prior fermentation in tanks. Marc du Jura, pomace-based eau-de-vie, is then added at a ratio of one liter for every two of must. Fermentation stops, leaving behind residual sugar and a sweet dessert wine.
Crémant du Jura AOC
White and rosé wines can be produced from Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot noir red grapes and Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Savagnin white grapes.
Wine Styles of Jura
Aged White Wines
In Jura white wines are aged in two styles: “Without Ullage”: The ullage (from the Latin oculus, “eye”, referring to the bung hole in a barrel) is the unfilled space in a barrel or tank. In this style wine barrels are kept topped up or it is aged in a stainless steel tank without any air space to eliminate oxygen exposure.
With Ullage”: This is an oxidative style of wine making in whch it is allowed to have contact with air and subsequently develops a surface of yeast that metabolizes certain components in the wine, namely ethyl acetate as well as tartaric, acetic, pyruvic, malic and lactic acids. The by-product is aldehyde. The result is a wine with nutty and spicy aromas. The wines are usually made from Chardonnay or Savagnin and if blended it will state “Tradition” on the label.
Vin Jaune
Vine Juane is made from 100% Savagnin. It originated in Château-Chalon but it is also produced in Arbois, L'Étoile and Côtes du Jura AOCs. After fermentation the wine is aged minimally 6 years and 3 months in oak casks. A film of surface yeast develops over time and metabolizes ethyl acetate and acids into aldehydes. The result of this controlled oxidative style is a wine that is similar to sherry. During the wine making process a significant volume is lost and consequently a what would normally be a 750 ml bottle of wine is reduced to 620 ml so the wines are sold in smaller bottles known as “Clavelins.”
Vin de Paille
Vin de Paille is the French for “straw wine”. It is made from a blend of Chardonnay, Savagnin and Poulsard in the Côtes du Jura, as well as in Arbois and L'Etoile. Traditionally the grapes are placed indoors and dried on straw mats for up to 3 months. The goal is to concentrate sugars and flavor compounds. It is aged for 3 years in barrel where it develops aromas of candied orange, prune, honey and caramel. and the final wine has about 12-19% alcohol and 10-20% residual sugar. [10]

 

Viticultural History of Savoy

Together with the Haute-Savoie, Savoie is one of the two departments of the historic region of Savoy that was annexed by France on June 14, 1860, following the signature of the Treaty of Turin on March 24, 1860.[11] It is sometimes referred to as the country of the Allobroges, a Gallic tribe of ancient Gaul, located between the Rhône River and the Lake of Geneva in what later became Savoy, Dauphiné, and Vivarais. The cities were in the areas of modern-day Annecy, Chambéry and Grenoble, the modern departement of Isère, and modern Switzerland. Their capital was today’s Vienne.

Viticulture and Viniculture in Jura dates back to the 1st century AD when the region was settled by Romans who discovered a wild vine that they named Vitis Allbrogia, which ampelographers now believe was Mondeuse. After the fall of the Roman Empire (410 AD) the church became the dominate wine growers through the Middle Ages.

Prior to the establishment of modern France and Italy, Savoy was governed by the Duchy of Savoie which stretched from Lyon to Milan in Italy and from Neuchatel in Switzerland to the Mediterranean coast. In 1792 the region was annexed by France but then was claimed by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sadrinia in 1815 and then 1860 it again came under French rule. Today very little wine is exported from Savoy as most of it is consumed by locals and tourists who visit this popular snow skiing region.[12]

Geography of Savoie / Savoy
Savoie is an alpine wine region located in the far east of France, in the mountainous areas just south of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) and the border of Switzerland.
Topography of Savoie / Savoy
Vineyards are planted throughout this mountainous region along the upper Rhône River and the shores of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), from Fréterive in the South, to Evian in the North, passing through Apremont and Jongieux. The terrain is rugged so the vines are planted on steep hillsides and flat lands in between the peaks.
Climate of Savoie / Savoy
Savoie has a continental climate that is moderated by Lake Bourget and the larger Lac Léman which Western Europe’s largest body of freshwater.
AOCs / AOPs
Accurate and up-to-date information on Savoie can be challenging to find. According to my count form various sources, Savoie has 6 AOCs / AOPs which are as follows:
Vin de Savoie AOC
Vin de Savoie AOC/AOP is the region’s overarching appellation and it produces white, red, rosé, traditional method sparkling wine. The designation may be followed by one of the following specific geographic denominations:
White Wines - Abymes, Apremon, Chignin-Bergeron (produces 100% Roussanne wines exclusively), Chautagne, Cruet, Jongieux, Montmélian, Saint-jeoire-prieuré, Marin, and Ayse. Marignan, Ripaille and Crépy—all located along the southern shores of Lake Geneva—mandate a minimum 80% Chasselas.
For Red Wines - Arbin, St-Jean-de-la-porte, Chautagne. Chignin, Jongieux.
Traditional Method Sparkling Wines - L'Ayse (From the grape varieties Gringet and Roussette d'Ayse)
Bugey AOC
Formerly Vin de Bugey, it was upgraded to Bugey AOC/AOP in May 2004. It is located to the west of Lake Bourget. There are 3 villages that may add their name to this appellation: Bugey-Cerdon (sweet sparkling rosé wines only), Bugey-Manicle (white and red wines), and Bugey-Montagnieu (white and red sparkling or pétillant wines only). Bugey white wine is made from 70% Chardonnay but may also include Altesse, (Roussette), Aligoté, Jacquére, Mondeuse Blanc and Pinot Gris. [13]
Crémant de Savoie
The newest AOC in Savoie, producers in Savoy will be able to produce sparkling wine and sell it as crémant from December of 2015. At least 60% of the blend must consist of the local grapes Jacquère (min. 40%) and Altesse. The balance can be made up of Chasselas, Aligoté and Chardonnay. The AOC requires a minimum ageing period of 12 months. Crémant de Savoie is now the 8th crémant appellation in France, after Alsace, Bourgogne, Bordeaux, Loire, Limoux, Jura and Die in the Rhône. [14]
Crépy AOC
Established in 1948, this micro-appellation of 80 ha (197 acres) is one of the two oldest appellations of Savoy. It is located on the south side of Lake Geneva. It only produces white wines made from the Chasselas.
Roussette de Savoie AOC
Only white wines made from 100% Altesse. The designation may be followed by one of the following specific geographic denominations: Frangy, Marestel, Monthoux, Monterminod, Montagnieu and Virieu le Grand.
Seyssel AOC
Established in 1942, it is located to the north of Lake Bourget and provides dry and off-dry still and mousseux wines. White wine (100% Altesse) and traditional method sparkling wines are produced from Molette and Chasselas and Altesse (minimum 10%). 
White Grapes
There are 23 authorized grape varieties in Savoie, the most important are as follows:
Aligoté
Used in Crémant de Savoie AOC wine.
Jacquére
Also known as Martin-Côt, Molette de Montmelian. It is grown around Mont Granier, specifically in the villages of Apremont and Abymes where Jacquere must make up at least 80% of the wine, with Aligote, Altesse, Chardonnay and Marsanne making up the balance. It typically has aromas of green apples, pears, herbs and freshly cut grass.
Altesse
Also known as Roussette, it tends to produce small yields and it ripens late but is resistant to grey rot. It typically produces wines with exotic aromas, notes of citrus and herbs and high acidity and age-ability.
Roussanne
Known locally as Bergeron, the grape vine ripens late and is characterized by its irregular yields that can decrease further due to poor wind resistance. The vine is also susceptible to powdery mildew and rot which makes it a difficult vine to cultivate. During winemaking, it is prone to oxidation and it yet it can also benefit from a controlled use of oak. In blends, The grape adds aromatics, elegance and acidity to other wines with the potential to age and further develop in the bottle.[15]
Molette
Also known as Molette blanche and Molette de Seysse, it is a cross between Gouais blanc and a yet-to-be identified grape variety.[16] It tends to produce neutral tasting wine so it is often blended with Altesse (Roussette).
Savagnin
Known locally as Gringet, for further comments see the notes above on Jura.
Chardonnay
Used in Crémant de Savoie AOC wine.
Chasselas
A dominant white wine grape in Switzerland, it is used in Vin de Savoie AOC and Crémant de Savoie wines.
Red Grapes
Gamay
Makes up 15% of acres under vine.
Mondeuse Noir
Makes up 12% of acres under vine.
Persan
A traditional local grape that is in decline.
Pinot Noir
A thriving grape in Savoie.
Sparkling Wine
In addition to Seyssel AOC, other sparkling wines are produced as Vin de Savoie mousseux or pétillant, and sparkling méthode ancestrale rosés may be found labeled as Bugey Cerdon.



Wines Tasted

The following wines were tasted in the French Wine Scholar class:



1. Hubert Clavelin Cremant du Jura “Brut Comté” NV



A clear white wine, lemon on color . On the nose it is clean with moderate aromas of dried peach skins, hints of nuts, cheese rind, and a hint of brine. On the palate it is dry with moderate acidity, medium body and a moderate length nutty and mushroomy finish. This wine sells for $19.



2. 2013 Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais “Vignes des Jumeaux”



A clear red wine, bright ruby at the core to pink at the rim with moderate viscosity. On the nose it is clean with moderate+ intense aromas of cranberry, raspberry, pronounced floral aromas and a hint of wet stone and spice. On the palate it is dry and tart with “stemmy” medium tannins, medium+ acidity with a medium+ length finish with lingering notes of pepper and spice. This wine sells for $15.



3. 2011 Domaine Henry Fessy Fleurie “Château Des Labourons”



A clear red wine, bright ruby at the core to pink at the rim with moderate viscosity. On the nose it is “clean” with some major indications of brettanomyces but with vigorous swirling the barnyard notes dissipate and a waft of dried cranberry, red plum, smoke and spice push through. On the palate it is dry with moderate tannins, medium+ acidity, medium body and a moderate length finish. The descriptors may not sound all that enticing but I actually found this wine to be quite intriguing. This wine sells for $18.



4. 2013 Domaine Chignard Julienas “Beauvernay



A clear red wine, bright ruby at the core to pink at the rim with moderate viscosity. On the nose it is clean with moderate intense aromas cranberry, pomegranate, raspberry, cherry, black pepper and a hint of spice. On the palate it is dry with medium tannins, medium+ acidity and a moderate length finish. This wine sells for $25



5. 2013 Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon



A clear red wine, bright ruby at the core to slight pink at the rim and medium viscosity. On the nose it is clean with subtle aromas of fresh cherries, cranberries, pomegranates, hints of cinnamon, pepper and spice. On the palate it is dry with very refined and silky moderate tannins, medium+ acidity, medium body and a medium length finish. This wine sells for $32



6. 2012 Domaine Diochon Moulin-à-Vent “Cuvee Vielles Vignes”



A clear red wine, bright ruby at the core to slight pink at the rim and medium viscosity. On the nose it is clean with subtle aromas of cranberries, pomegranates, black pepper, minor notes of barnyard (“brett”) and spice. On the palate with is dry with moderate tannins, medium+ acidity and a moderate length finish. This wine sells for $23



7. 2005 Domaine Ganevat Côtes du Jura Vin Jaune “La Combe”



A clear white wine, golden in color with medium+ viscosity. On the nose it is clean with intense aromas of dried oranges, nuts, autumn leaves, and peat. On the palate it is dry with medium+ acidity, medium bodied and a very nutty and leafy long finish. This wine sells for $74.



8. Patrick Bottex Bugey Cerdon “La Cueille” Rose Methode Ancestrale



A clear pink wine with small bubbles. On the nose it is clean with subtle aromas of chocolate covered strawberries, cranberry, raspberries with pungent floral notes. On the palate it is semi-sweet on entry and then quickly turns tart, it has medium+ acidity, light body and a medium length finish. This wine sells for $23.



9. 2013 Château de Ripaille Vin de Savoie Ripaille


A clear white wine, lemon in color with medium viscosity. On the nose it is clean with moderate intense aromas of lemon-lime, melon rind, apple, pineapple, and dried tropical fruit. On the palate it is dry and somewhat tart with medium+ acidity, medium body with a salty minerality on a medium length finish. This wine sells for $12.


[1] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 117.
[2] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 118.
[3] James E. Wilson, Terroir (University of California Press, 1998), 157.
[5] Tom Stevenson, The Sotheby Wine Encyclopedia (5th Edition, Sands Publishing, 2011), 274.
[6] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 134.
[7] Andre Domine, (ed) Wine (Germany: Tandem Verlag, 2008), 176.
[8] Andre Domine, (ed) Wine (Germany: Tandem Verlag, 2008), 176.
[9] Andre Domine, (ed) Wine (Germany: Tandem Verlag, 2008), 176.
[10] Jancis Robinson, The Oxford Companion to Wine (3rd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2006), 736.
[11] Jancis Robinson, The Oxford Companion to Wine (3rd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2006), 614.
[12] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 143.
[13] Tom Stevenson, The Sotheby Wine Encyclopedia (5th Edition, Sands Publishing, 2011), 276.
[15] Jancis Robinson, The Oxford Companion to Wine (3rd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2006), 595.
[16] Jancis Robinson, The Oxford Companion to Wine (3rd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2006), 113.

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