Some consider the Côtes du Jura the fraternal twin of the Côte d’Or, which makes sense geographically. The Jura lies just parallel to Burgundy on the opposite side of the Saône valley and on the same latitude as Montrachet. The Seille River, a tributary of the Saône, snakes its way down from the Jura Mountains toward southern Burgundy, irrigating the vineyards that blanket the meandering valleys of the impressive Reculées, the Jura’s massive limestone cliffs. The white wines that come of age here, though long and linear like those from Burgundy, have multiple and even split personalities in the most alluring way—they can be flinty or salty, nutty or candied, and any exotic combination thereof. In the Jura, you’ll taste the most weightless reds, so delicate and thirst-quenching and more lucid than any rouge you’d find in the cellar of a prestigious Burgundian estate. The most authentic way to experience the wines, short of visiting the region itself, is to pair them with some eighteen- or twenty-four-month-old Comté. Raised in local Jurassic caves, over time this semi-firm cheese develops fine-grained, salty crystals that dissolve over your tongue like Pop Rocks. Try this with a bottle from François Rousset-Martin or Jean-François Ganevat, both of whom work organically and biodynamically, with little to no sulfur, to accentuate the Jura’s unique terroir and prove that this bucolic region is no one’s twin—it’s unlike any other place at all.
The vines selected for this cuvée have been patiently growing old for the last fifty years in Lavigny, an idyllic and peaceful village just west of the Seille River. It’s one of the saltiest, most savory, and generous in François’s repertoire, so take your time with it and let its story unfold. Louis Pasteur, a native of the Jura and one of the first microbiologists to understand alcoholic fermentation, famously said that fortune favored a prepared mind. Fortune also favors a prepared poulet aux morilles with a great bottle of wine like this one.
Hold a glass of this aptly named cuvée, meaning “exceptional beauty,” up to the light to witness an incandescent red hue so luminous it glows. Supernatural, well-made reds of this caliber are such a thrill. One sip will chase you to the limit of a steep ledge, let you sway in the wind a bit while you savor the terroir, and then plant you firmly back on Earth with a vibrant burst. This blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir, spiced with Syrah and Mondeuse, is best enjoyed when cool to the touch
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