The green, rolling landscape of the Jura is a sight to behold, and the perfect picture of how a mountainous region nestled in between Burgundy and Switzerland should appear in the mind’s eye. In this cooler climate, vineyards are planted on slopes at varying altitudes and gradients. This region is home to forty different grape varieties with styles so different that they tend to shock the uninitiated. And at the heart of it all, in the charming hamlet of La Combe de Rotalier (just south of Lons-le-Saunier), Jean-François Ganevat—known as Fanfan—is making wine with the inspired magic of an alchemist. His wines occupy the better part of the hamlet, filling picturesque country cottages with barrels and barrels of his diverse, yet traditional creations. He comes from a long line of winegrowers, dating as far back as 1650, although the family supplemented their grape-growing with a dairy that produced milk destined for the local cheese, Comté, until 1976. After working both for his father and for the prestigious Domaine Jean-Marc Morey in Chassagne-Montrachet, Jean-François returned to the Jura in 1998 to take over the family domaine. Today, he is joined by his sister, Anne. With only eight and a half hectares under vine, the family has seventeen different local varieties planted of both red and white grapes—an incredible amount of variation to consider for holdings of such small size. For such a fervent perfectionist and insatiable lover of details as Jean-François, the decision to have the domaine certified as biodynamic was a natural choice. Jean-François creates a stunning number of cuvées from both estate fruit and purchased grapes, ranging between thirty-five and forty every year! His methodology goes far beyond the details of the average vigneron. For some, his process would be maddening, as each cuvée calls for a highly individualized élévage. He gravitates toward the Burgundian style, using ouillage to top off barrels. Jean-François Ganevat is a master of his craft, one of the true magicians of the eclectic. To say that his grapes are spun into gold would not be far from the truth; his wines are entirely otherworldly.
If you’d been driving along the rue du Chapitre in the commune of Aloxe-Corton, north of Beaune, in September 2017, chances are good that you would have heard lines from the old wine song “Ah! que nos pères étaient heureux” emanating from the Clos du Chapitre vineyard, which abuts the Église Saint-Médard
Somehow, after four decades of flawless Chablis, this treasured domaine has managed to remain a hidden gem within our Burgundy portfolio. With every release, these staff favorites get scooped up by the case by the folks here at KLWM, and by those seasoned customers who’ve figured out by now the outstanding pleasure and value this producer provides vintage after vintage. It’s been long predicted that someday we’ll be unable to offer Lavantureux’s wines without allocating them — the potential for glory and fame is right there in your glass.
The southern Rhône, Provence, Languedoc, Corsica: distinct regions, yet viticulturally intertwined. Grape varieties like Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Vermentino are found in each, ripening under the abundant sunshine of a gorgeous Mediterranean climate. But diversity abounds—now is your chance to dig deeper into southern France.
In these wines, you will taste the passion of a classicist trying to uphold the best traditions of the northern Rhône, and also the creativity of a thoughtful vigneron navigating the hurdles of the present and future.
When traveling the wine route in France and Italy, I come across fine olive oil almost as often as I come across fine wine. Of course, these are the two staples of the diet in this part of the world...
Here at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant we don’t believe in selling anything mediocre, and we would certainly not put our name on a wine we didn’t believe in. So our values are just that, wines that are full of value and quality.
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