When talking about pinot noir in France, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who links it to another region besides Burgundy. Granted, it is nigh unbeatable reputation-wise, as the recent auction at Hospice de Beaune proved with a whopping 39% price increase versus last year. Nonetheless, other regions are perfectly capable of producing unique pinot noir. For instance, Jura wines may not be the easiest, are from time to time hijacked by hipsters and enjoy sudden bursts of popularity on the sommelier scene, but on plenty of occasions they are utterly delicious.
The Jura is only a stone’s throw away from the heart of Burgundy so comparisons are unavoidable. Winemakers used to be quite self-conscious, preferring to use pinot noir as a blending component and operating under the assumption that they could not compete with the Cote d’Or. They are increasingly confident in the region’s own sense of an identity however, and monovarietal wines are on the rise.
The Jura has become popular in recent years in part because the region is a hotbed of natural winemaking. Big names like Ganevat or Overnoy only seem to exist on social media these days but they have laid the path for plenty of winemakers held in high esteem. One of these is Domaine de Saint Pierre, taken over by Fabrice Dodane, the estate’s winemaker for 20+ years, following the death of its founder in 2011. Fabrice was the driving force behind the estate’s expansion to six hectares, as well as the conversion to organic winemaking in 2008.
Les Gaudrettes 2014 is a young wine and is intended to be drunk as such. It is made with carbonic fermentation, in which unpressed grapes are put in a sealed tank filled with carbon dioxide. Without oxygen present, the fermentation process will start inside the grape, and the result is a fruit-driven wine, showing redcurrants and a hint of raspberry (on day 2) in the nose. Juicy and crisp in the mouth, almost too one-sidedly fruity until you get a tangy, mineral streak in the finish. It is a thirst-quencher, charming in its forwardness offering easy drinking pleasure. Open it a couple of hours earlier, serve it a bit cooler than usual and in a large Burgundy glass for maximum enjoyment!