• Domaine du Pélican's Full Arbois Arsenal

    Domaine du Pélican's Full Arbois Arsenal

    The history and reputation of Burgundy and the Jura couldn't be more different. While Burgundy's vineyards have been carefully delineated over centuries and pricing has placed them atop the most collectible fine wines in the world, the Jura has remained quietly tucked in a sleepy corner of France an hour's drive east.

    Jura certainly has its enthusiasts, but for the most part, the wines historically had been sold in France. One evening at a Parisian restaurant set in motion a series of events that would ultimately be a turning point for the Jura.

    Today, I'm happy to offer the 2018 Domaine du Pélican lineup.

    Guillaume D'Angerville, of the Domaine Marquis d'Angerville estate in Volnay, is at the helm of one of Burgundy's elite and storied estates, with roots dating back to 1507. It was at this Parisian restaurant that Guillaume asked the sommelier to pour him a glass of wine blind (a regular request of his). The one rule Guillaume had this evening was that the wine could not be from Burgundy. The sommelier poured, Guillaume took a sip and pronounced it terrific. But he thought the sommelier had broken the one rule. No Burgundy! The sommelier grinned and revealed the wine: Stéphane Tissot's Bruyères Chardonnay from the Jura. The rest was history.

    D'Angerville's arrival in the Jura was initially met with skepticism from the locals. A Burgundian coming in search of vineyards to purchase was not something those in the town of Arbois were thrilled about. There's a more insular feeling in the Jura where so many of the wines are kept local that outsiders, even from nearby, are met with a suspicious eye. However, Guillaume's true fondness for the wines and the history of the small region revealed itself quickly. He made it clear his goal was to bring worldwide awareness to the great and incredibly unique wines of the Jura.

    Several properties were subsequently purchased, and organic and biodynamic viticulture was implemented immediately. Included were the famed holdings of Jacques Puffeney, who had recently retired. We've offered the Domaine du Pélican Jura lineup since the first vintage in 2012.

    The white wines of Pélican are made in the ouilée style, where barrels are topped up each month with wine to prevent oxidation. (Jura's Vin Jaune style, and other whites, can be produced where barrels are left un-topped, leaving very distinctive oxidative, nutty notes as the wines age).

    NEW WINES

    En Barbi Chardonnay: Pélican has been farming this parcel since 2012. En Barbi is a south-facing plot sheltered from the winds by an amphitheater of hills. The soil is Jurassic marl, so rich in limestone that it appears white. Francois Duvivier believes that the large amount of marl contributes more minerality, volume, and length than a “classic” soil of clay and limestone. They vinified En Barbi separate from the other plots for several years and bottled the first "single-vineyard" release in 2018.

    Macération Pelliculaire: As an ode to Savagnin’s many different expressions, Domaine du Pélican decided to experiment with a skin contact cuvée. The maceration was for around 10 days, after which the vat's juice was pumped and the skins pressed. The 2018 vintage was aged mostly in Burgundy barrels, with the remainder in stainless steel. Approximately 1,700 bottles were produced.

    Grand Curoulet Savagnin: From vines originally farmed by Robert Aviet, Grand Curoulet is one of the very best terroirs of Arbois. It's a North-facing parcel located on the side of a hill that dominates Arbois and the plaine de la Saône. Grand Curoulet is also believed to be where the first vines of Arbois were planted. The soil is made of grey marls and multi-colored marls from the Triassic period. These are the oldest marls found in the Jura.

    Arbois Pinot Noir: After much deliberation, Domaine du Pélican decided to produce a 100% Pinot Noir cuvée for the first time from the 2018 vintage. The team resisted until then because they were concerned that they would perhaps not master the vinification of Pinot Noir outside of Burgundy. It is made mostly from their Clos Saint Laurent parcel that is located just behind the winery and sits at an altitude of approximately 350 meters. The soil is made of fallen rocks of Bajocian limestone over grey marls.

    Béranger Trousseau: Montigny-les-Arsures is the capital of Trousseau, much in the same way Pupillin is the capital of Poulsard. It's also the village where Domaine du Pelican’s winery and this Arbois Béranger parcel are located. This single-vineyard Trousseau is made from the parcel that Jacques Puffeney farmed and made his Les Bérangères Trousseau from. The soil in Béranger is alluvial and silt over grey marls, just stony enough to allow for good drainage—particularly beneficial for Trousseau.

     

    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Jura Game Changer:  Villet's Arbois 100% Pinot Noir 2017!

    Jura Game Changer: Villet's Arbois 100% Pinot Noir 2017!

    Only a handful of tastings in the last few years have left me feeling as if I had stumbled upon a massive secret. (See: Chambeyron Côte Rôtie & Comando G). On one hand I wanted to shout from the rooftops, and on the other I thought best keep this relatively quiet. In the small village of Arbois, Gérard and Christine Villet farm five hectares, with only 8% planted to Pinot Noir. And it's this 100% Pinot Noir cuvée that redefined for me what the Jura is capable of, to say nothing of the modest $33 tag. This is a bottle that will hit every mark for every lover of Pinot Noir, and this is the only offering in the US. 

    The Villet domaine was started in 1900, but the real turn came in 1988 when the couple converted to organic viticulture. Five hectares covers various soils in and around Arbois, with over a dozen different wines made each year. While the blend of Trousseau, Poulsard, and Pinot Noir is customary in Arbois, coming across 100% Pinot Noir bottlings are rare. Some producers feel the sum of all the parts is greater than each varietal on their own. My personal experience is that's many times true. Here, however,the singularity of Pinot Noir from this .4 hectare parcel is extraordinary. It validates being bottled on its own, regardless of how little is produced, and saying nothing of the even smaller portion that made it to the US.

    Jura has long existed in the shadows of Burgundy to its west. Producers have been reluctant to focus on 100% Pinot Noir bottilngs for a multitude of reasons. Some examples I've tried, while delicious, lacked the definition and focus that Burgundy executes across the price spectrum. The Villet's is one that immediately pulled me in with aromatics, and hooked me with a palate presence that was deep with superb clarity and a finish that just would not relent. 


    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • Jura Game Changer:  Villet's Arbois 100% Pinot Noir

    Jura Game Changer: Villet's Arbois 100% Pinot Noir

    Only a handful of tastings in the last few years have left me feeling as if I had stumbled upon a massive secret. (See: Chambeyron Côte Rôtie & Comando G). On one hand I wanted to shout from the rooftops, and on the other I thought best keep this relatively quiet. In the small village of Arbois, Gérard and Christine Villet farm five hectares, with only 8% planted to Pinot Noir. And it's this 100% Pinot Noir cuvée that redefined for me what the Jura is capable of, to say nothing of the modest $33 tag. This is a bottle that will hit every mark for every lover of Pinot Noir, and this is the only offering in the US. 

    The Villet domaine was started in 1900, but the real turn came in 1988 when the couple converted to organic viticulture. Five hectares covers various soils in and around Arbois, with over a dozen different wines made each year. While the blend of Trousseau, Poulsard, and Pinot Noir is customary in Arbois, coming across 100% Pinot Noir bottlings are rare. Some producers feel the sum of all the parts is greater than each varietal on their own. My personal experience is that's many times true. Here, however,the singularity of Pinot Noir from this .4 hectare parcel is extraordinary. It validates being bottled on its own, regardless of how little is produced, and saying nothing of the even smaller portion that made it to the US.

    Jura has long existed in the shadows of Burgundy to its west. Producers have been reluctant to focus on 100% Pinot Noir bottilngs for a multitude of reasons. Some examples I've tried, while delicious, lacked the definition and focus that Burgundy executes across the price spectrum. The Villet's is one that immediately pulled me in with aromatics, and hooked me with a palate presence that was deep with superb clarity and a finish that just would not relent. 

    The 2016 vintage in the Jura was judged brilliantly here. Often these lighter reds from warmer vintages in Arbois do shine the very brightest. I cannot overstate how thrilling this tasting experience was, and when I learned the price I knew this was also undeniably rare.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen