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2018 Côtes du Jura Savagnin “Cuvée du Professeur—Sous-Roche”

François Rousset-Martin
Discount Eligible $71.00
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One of Rousset-Martin’s flagship cuvées, this Savagnin hails from François’s very own vines in the marl soils of the storied Château-Chalon appellation and was patiently matured in Burgundian barrels. A transformative process must have been at work here, with the dynamic freshness of the ouillé, or topped-up style, yet it still displays hints of caramelization and golden savoriness. It’s racy but rich, umami-driven, and creamy, and could be a compelling marriage with the notoriously difficult-to-pair artichoke, especially with a ramekin of butter alongside. Transcendent!

Jennifer Oakes


Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2018
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Savagnin (ouillé)
Appellation: Côtes du Jura
Country: France
Region: Jura
Producer: François Rousset-Martin
Winemaker: Francois Rousset-Martin
Vineyard: 30 years , .25 ha
Soil: Gray marl
Aging: Aged on fine lees
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 13.5%

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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.