What you need to know about Jura
At half the size of Chablis, Jura may well be France’s smallest wine region, but it’s definitely one to watch. With a variety of styles and a combination of international and indigenous grapes, Jura’s popularity is growing, particularly among affluent, trend-seeking wine drinkers.
Nestled between Burgundy and Switzerland, Jura wine is still largely unknown, with only 3% of UK wine drinkers having tried wine from this region. A recent trade tasting hosted by Vins du Jura and Comté Cheese featured a wine and cheese pairing workshop presented by Wink Lorch, author of Jura Wine, and food journalist Patrick McGuigan. To better understand this intriguing region, Wink set about debunking some common myths:
Myth 1 - Jura and Savoie are connected: Despite often being grouped together, these two are not connected in any way
Myth 2 - Jura vineyards are high in altitude: No, they are merely near the mountains and influenced by them
Myth 3 - Jura is all about rare grapes: Uhm, no… there’s plenty of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir planted
Myth 4 - Jura grapes are all farmed organically: No, although the region does have a good reputation for sustainable production
Myth 5 - Jura reds are rosés in disguise: No, some are actually quite dark in colour
Myth 6 - All Jura whites are oxidised: Definitely not
Myth 7 - Vin Jaune is Jura’s main wine: No. It may be a speciality of the region, but only constitutes 4% of its production
Myth 8 - Jura has a tiny production: Sadly, this one is true
Situated within the Franche-Comté region, Jura wine is a classic partner to Comté cheese. And while Jura is France’s smallest wine region, Comté is the biggest producer of PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) cheese in the country.
From young, soft and creamy to aged, crystallised and nutty, Comté cheese comes in a variety of styles and textures, each complementing a different expression of Jura. Tasting through a selection of suggested pairings, the three best were arguably a Cremant du Jura with a creamy 4 month old Comté, a slightly oxidised Chardonnay from Arbois AOC with a nutty 14-month-old Comté and finally a Vin Jaune 2006 from Savagnin with an intense and crunchy 28 month old Comté.
A producer to watch
Domaine Rijckaert was created in 1998 by Jean Rijckaert, a passionate Belgian wine producer. In addition to 4 ha in Burgundy, Domaine Rijckaert cultivates 6 ha of vineyards in the Jura, where Jean fell in love with the unique and outstanding terroir. Since 2013, Jean has gradually been passing on the torch of his passion to current owner Florent Rouve, sharing the “savoir-faire” that has shaped the incredible reputation of his wines. Following in Jean’s footsteps, Florent creates wines with elegance and purity.