If Arbois and Savagnin sound like words spoken in a local dialect of a far away foreign language to you, then congratulations: you’re about to discover a wine from one up and coming but still “secret tip” wine region: The Jura in Eastern France.
Savagnin is a white grape that is mostly cultivated in the Jura region of France. It is most famous for its use in the Vin Jaune, a very concentrated wine that is made in an oxydized style, similar to the wines of Jerez (I recently had one bottle of Vin Jaune from Château Chalon, check here ). The variety is known to be a clone of the Traminer, which explains why winemaker Tissot named it that way on today’s bottle.
Arbois on the other hand, is simply the name of the appelation, a small city and one out of 6 main AOC in Jura. Savagnin is probably the most typical white grape in Arbois, although this AOC is quite reputed for its autochton reds like Trousseau and Poulsard. Anyhow all Arbois wines go by the adage:
« le vin d’Arbois, plus on en boit, plus on va droit ! » (go figure :P)
So back to the wine. Having been harvested in 2006 one might think this is one is over the hill but not at all. It shines in the glass with a light golden colour and the nose appears very aromatic of spices and at the same time full of juicy fruit. The spice doesn’t mean it smells like a kitschy Gewürztraminer, no rose scent here, but rather like a wine with a nose de caractère, as the French like to say. Some vanilla, pear and green apples are the aromatic analogies coming to my mind. On the palate it covers all your taste buds and demonstrates that it is a real mouth-filler. Taste-wise the aromas from the nose are lingering on in the mouth with pear, vanilla and the obligatory spice notes. The wine shows a good presence and a satisfying length. Very inspiring.
Boy that is good stuff and a nice change from Riesling or other varietals for me. Plus at 15 Euro, a good price-quality ratio. All in all, I got to find out more about Jura, there must be plenty more to discover, also with the reds! I can call this a good start to my New Year’s resolutions! (Although this is still a tasting note from 2010 :P)
For those who also want to learn more about Jura wines, I would recommend for a start following this Jura Wine Facebook page. Also: Didier from the Vimpressionistes Blog has a natural tendency towards Jura wines and likes to report on his preferred ones.