GRAPE VARIETY: FOCUS ON SAVAGNIN BLANC

Savagnin Blanc is an ancient white wine grape grown almost exclusively in the Jura in eastern France. This variety ripens very late, and may be picked even in December.

Small-berried, thick-skinned Savagnin has been cultivated in France for at least 900 years. And today much known for two of France’s most idiosyncratic wines, the “sherry-like” Vin Jaune and the sweet, concentrated Vin de Paille. Savagnin Blanc is also present in the Jura’s sparkling and dry white wines, where it is often blended with the better-known Chardonnay grape variety.

The wine making process of Vin Jaune is very similar to sherry. Only extremely ripe grapes are used, with a potential alcohol content of 15%. After fermentation, the wine is placed in old oak barrels that are not completely filled, where it’s aged for 6 years and 3 months. A film of yeast gradually appears on the surface, and completely covers the wines after 2 or 3 years, preventing oxidation but allowing evaporation and the subsequent concentration of the wine. The result is a “sherry-like” wine with a nutty richness, intense aromas and great ageing potential. This unique wine has its own unique bottle, the 62 cl “clavelin”, which represents what remains of a litre of wine after 6 years in the barrel.

The finest examples of Vin Jaune come from the vineyards of Château-Chalon in the Jura. And today we would like to introduce the Henri Maire Chateau Chalon Vin Jaune 2010. An extraordinary wine with a deep gold colour and pronounced aroma intensity of walnuts, prunes, overripe yellow apples. The palate delivers with generosity notes of lees and freshly made biscuits. Well-balanced with great character and depth, refreshing acidity and a long, tangy finish. It is ready to drink now, or you can keep it in a cellar for several generations.

Food pairing:
– poultry, white meat or fish with cream sauce
– risotto with mushrooms, exotic, spicy dishes

Useful tips:
– serve at room temperature 15-18˚C
– open a bottle at least 1 hour before drinking

Amsterdam, November 13th 2019