White, Ready, but will keep

1990 Vin Jaune, Château-Chalon AC, Jean Bourdy

1990 Vin Jaune, Château-Chalon AC, Jean Bourdy

White | Ready, but will keep | Domaine Jean Bourdy | Code: 32311 | 1990 | France > Jura > Chateau-Chalon | Savagnin | Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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The Producer

Domaine Jean Bourdy

Domaine Jean Bourdy

The Grape

Savagnin

Savagnin

Savagnin is a high-quality white-wine grape cultivated almost exclusively in the Jura in eastern France. It is cultivated to a limited extent throughout the Jura vineyards (usually on the poorest marls soils on west-facing slopes) and may be included in any of the region's white wine appellations.

However it is most widely used but is usually in practice reserved for the Jura's extraordinary vin jaune. The Jura's most renowned wine undergoes a process similar to sherry, whereby a film of yeast covers the surface, thereby preventing oxidation but allowing evaporation and the subsequent concentration of the wine. The result is a "sherry-like" wine with a delicate, nutty richness.

Renowned ampelographer Pierre Galet maintains that Savagnin is identical to the Traminer which was once grown widely in Germany, Alsace, Hungary, and Austria, and that Gewürztraminer is the pink-berried musqué mutation of Savagnin.

The Region

Chateau-Chalon

Château-Chalon is an AOC wine region in Jura based around the village of Château-Chalon. Only white wines from the Savagnin grape are premitted for the region's distinctive wine style known as "vin jaune" which shows pronouced and fabulously rich, sherried flavours.

There are other appellations within Jura that are permitted to produce AOC vin jaune, most notably the Côtes du Jura AOC, but Château-Chalon is the finest source of this style.

The grapes are harvested at a high ripeness levels that allow for a potential alcohol content of at least 12% in the final wine (unilke other Jura wine regions which permit a minimum of 11.5% abv). The difference from other late harvest French wines, such as Sauternes, is that these are never botrytized.

Vin Jaune requires 6 years and 3 months to graduate, again non-ouillees (not topped up), before being bottled in the traditional 62cl 'Clavelin'.  Once bottled, the wine is of great longevity, and can age for several decades.

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