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2014 Macvin du Jura Chardonnay “5 ans d’age”

François Rousset-Martin
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François Rousset-Martin takes great pride in the Jura's unique wine traditions, and Macvin is certainly among the region's rare specialties. Produced from unfermented Chardonnay must blended with marc (neutral grape spirit), then aged for five years in barrel, it has wild aromatics of dried fruit, spices, and candied citrus zest. Best served at the end of a meal as a digestif, it has enough sweetness to stand up to certain desserts, too. Try your hand at a crème brûlée au macvin for a truly inspired pairing.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2014
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Chardonnay
Country: France
Region: Jura
Producer: François Rousset-Martin
Soil: Gray marl
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 17%

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About The Region

Jura

map of Jura

The Jura wine world is a fascinating, mysterious, and at times confusing one. The region’s recent surge in popularity on American wine lists lies in contrast with how strange its wines come across to the uninitiated, with many of its indigenous production methods and quirky winemakers requiring more than an introduction for one to fully savor their virtues. We firmly believe, however, that the pleasure at stake is well worth a slight detour to study the wild world of Jura.

Jura tradition calls for aging whites sous voile, or under a fine “veil” of yeast that grows over wine in barrel that has not been topped-off (non ouillé) to compensate for evaporation. The voile effectively slows the process of oxidation, while chemical reactions between these microorganisms and the wine below give rise to a highly distinctive and complex set of aromas. Often hinting at walnuts, beeswax, oriental spices, cheese rind, and brine, wines aged sous voile can come as a shock to the unhabituated palate. Their textural and aromatic singularity naturally sets them in a category of their own at table, perhaps the best setting in which to gain an appreciation for such wines.

Many Jura producers also produce more conventional whites in an ouillé, or topped-off style, as is practiced in Burgundy–or for that matter, in essentially all the white wines we are accustomed to. This method preserves fresh fruit flavors without the rather rustic, often funky oxidative notes typical of wines aged sous voile.

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Kermit inspecting wine barrels

For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.

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