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.
– poultry, white meat or fish with cream sauce
– risotto with mushrooms, exotic, spicy dishes
– serve at room temperature 15-18˚C
– open a bottle at least 1 hour before drinking
Amsterdam, November 13th 2019