Domaine Courbet - Chateau-Chalon 2014
Region: Chateau-Chalon / Jura
Vin Jaune is amazing and a must try at least once for any wine nerd. Very concentrated with high acidity, lots of depth, flavour and length. Notes of dried fruit, nuts, spice and little white flowers. Will develop for weeks after opening and decades in the cellar. The closest thing in flavour to this is perhaps a Sherry from Marco de Jerez, but really Vin Jaune is its own thing.
From two plots under the Roche on blue and grey marl. The Savagnin grapes are hand-harvested and pressed to barrel on fine lees for indigenous yeast ferment.
The wine then goes through the Vin Jaune process. The wine spends one year in barrel topped up with some lees stirring. The wine is then blended and transferred to different barrels in another part of the cellar where it will age for a further 6 years. During this time the barrels are not topped up, developing a natural flor (a type of mould really) on the surface of the wine.
This flor protects the wine from oxygen and imparts unique flavours, aromas and texture. The flor is regularly checked by the local wine board to make sure it is healthy and alive. If not the wine can no longer be called Vin Jaune / Chateau-Chalon. The wine can only be bottled 7 years and 3 months after harvest. The bottle is a unique 620ml size and shape.
Domaine Courbet was founded in 1896 and consists of just 7.5 hectares, half of which are in the prestigious Château Chalon appellation. Current custodian is Damien Courbet who began converting to Biodynamics soon after taking over from his father. He farms two parcels, one of which sits just under the cliff of Chateau Chalon. While young, Damien is already making a name for himself as a producer to watch.