tiny wine blog: November: It was the Jura

It's the Jura
JuraFor November I have been drinking wines from the Jura. The Jura is a small region in France that is between Burgundy and the Swiss border and as a wine region it's known to be a super traditional, sleepy region that produces unique wines (often from funny grapes you haven't heard of) and is often hard to find in the US.

As an aside
When I (very infrequently) sit down to write these little tiny wine blogs, the goal in the back of mind has always been to provide a nice 'take away' about what ever I am going on about and to maybe get you to go out and drink some yourself. I mean, that is what *I'd* want from some sort of wine blog. The funny thing about the Jura is that unless you live in a town with a geeky wine shop, you'll probably never see these wines. Some actual French co-workers of mine haven't actually seen Jura wines. No, really. Here in NYC I have bought four bottles so far and I think I am getting close to exhausting the inventory in the entire city (not really, but... well.. maybe).
So, this isn't a very practical blog post for most people (all 3 of you).

The funny thing
They are really known for their white wines in the Jura and they seem to love them to be quite oxidized (i.e. exposed to oxygen). I've recently had four Jura wines: one white and three reds. The white was blend of the Savagnin grape and Chardonnay... and holy moly was it oxidizied.

I don't mind oxidized wines like Sherry or the Rosado we had recently, but this was something else. I read a review that described the flavors as "rancid walnuts" - I think that was a favorable review. BTW, "rancid walnuts" was spot on for the bottle I had and I'll add bracingly high acidity and apples that fell from a tree and sat in the sun for a week or two. Now, they say these wines go great with certain foods - especially regional dishes - and I am sure there are some dishes that could be interesting with these wines.
So, the whites didn't do it for me personally, although I do appreciate that they are made in such a traditional way and there is a certain geeky aspect to them.

The reds on the other hand were lovely and dare I say, delicious. So far we've have two Pinot Noirs and one Poulsard. The two Pinot Noirs (did I mention that the Jura is a fairly cool climate area?) were very light colored wines and featured great arrays of aromas and tastes. On the palate (i.e. the mouth hole) you had mouthwatering yet light bodied red fruit flavors. The nose was similar with the addition of these nice earthy, spicy, smokey, and maybe meaty aromas. They were both really great and very drinkable Pinot Noirs.

The other grape is Poulsard. From what I can tell this is a pretty fat grape that has a thin skin (much like Uncle Joel). The thin skin also gives it a very light color and the aromas and flavors were similar to the Pinot Noirs - cherrys on the palate and similar notes on the nose with the addition of crazy bits of earthiness and spice.
All the reds were perfect wines with a variety of foods (lamb, middle-eastern dishes, pasta) and since it's November, I think would go very well with Thanksgiving fare.


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Over at Frankly Wines, they love the Jura and in September the NYT wrote all about it.

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