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2008 Vin de France Chardonnay “La Chaux Passerillé” HALF BOTTLE

François Rousset-Martin
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In the Jura village of Nevy-sur-Seille, François Rousset-Martin exhibits skilled artistry to craft wines in many styles from the stunning vineyards around Château-Chalon. The latest marvel to come out of his cellar is this dessert wine from Chardonnay grapes dried for several months in wood crates, then pressed and aged for five years in barrel without topping-up. It is richly concentrated and yet boasts a lively acidity, while the aromatics will take you for a psychedelic ride. This Jurassic delicacy it is truly one of a kind.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: dessert
Vintage: 2008
Bottle Size: 375mL
Blend: Chardonnay
Appellation: Côtes du Jura
Country: France
Region: Jura
Producer: François Rousset-Martin
Soil: Limestone, gray and white marl
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 12%

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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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Terroirs

Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.

Inspiring Thirst, page 312

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