Four years ago almost to the day was the first time both my writing partner Sue and I had our first tastes Vin Jaune and Trousseau, from Jura, a mountainous region in Eastern France, near Italy and Switzerland.
In our naiveté, we thought they’d be like other red French wines. Sue researched and developed a menu of classic rich creamy and mushroomy dishes to pair with the split of Vin Jaune and the Trousseau. With six adults, and October being MerlotMe, we figured these dishes would work well with several expensive Napa merlot wines.
But surprise surprise: they did not. The Jura foods worked best with the Jura wines. And basically, only Sue and I liked the Jura wines.
Clearly, wines from Jura are not immediately accessible and accessible to every palate — or to every budget. But for those of us who like to expand our range of wine experiences and styles, Jura should definitely be on your list, especally if you’re pairing them with rich foods of the region, foods that will put a little fat on you to get you through a rough winter– because they cut right through the cream.
Last time Sue did an elaborate menu that included
- Croute au morbier:
toasted baguette with morbier cheese melted
- Croute au morilles:
toasted baguette with wild mushrooms in cream wine sauce with parmesan
- Poached pears for dessert
On a work night, we kept it more simple this time:
- Fertile combos au Jambon plated with spring greens and homegrown tomatoes:
ham and comte cheese wrapped in puff pastry
This is delightful, elegant yet simple and versatile food that can be an appetizer, a main course, or breakfast. Sue bought frozen puff pastry, defrosted it, cut it into strips about 8 x 4, layered rosemary ham and comte cheese, put egg around the edges, folded them over, and cooked them at 400 degrees and as they grew brown and toasty, she finished them with lightly brushed cream sauce from the chicken dish. You can experiment with these with different fillings and different wines. The leftovers make an awesome breakfast as my son will attest!
- Coq au vin Jaune (Mushroom cream chicken) on mashed potatoes with organic green beans
Sue dredged the chicken in flour, fried in olive oil, braised with white wine, cream, mushrooms, cooked in a generous cup of 2017 Jean Claude Credoz Melon Cotes du Jura AOP and a dry white port as I was out of sherry. This is Sue’s version of a classic regional dish that cooked for several hours on a low heat on the stove. We used four kinds of mushrooms because we couldn’t find morels.
The Jura offers wine from unusual grapes including Trousseau, Poulsard and Savagnin, as well as the more familiar Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We tasted and paired:
- 2017 Jean Claude Credoz Melon Cotes du Jura AOP
- 2018 Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Singulier Trousseau Arbois
2017 Jean Claude Credoz Melon Cotes du Jura AOP
ABV 13%, SRP $40 purchased at WineHouse LA
In the Before Time, I went to WineHouse LA for our two Jura wines. A helpful expert guided me in my choices and explained that the classic wine of the region, Vin Jaune, is aged with flor, a yeast, much like sherry, and like sherry, has an unusual oxidized character.
In the During Time, I had to search for my wine online, and I made my choices quickly as a friend offered to pick them up. There wasn’t a lot to choose from, I didn’t have any assistance, and basically I saw Jura, looked it up online, learned they use biodynamic and organic practices and I clicked add to cart. For $40, I was happy it was a full bottle, and I just a assumed it was Vin Jaune.
But I learned that this wine is actually composed of 100% melon which is the regional name for Chardonnay. However this wine is far from your typical Chardonnay, so all you ABCers, don’t cur up your nose!
- Color: Golden yellow buttercup, with a deep golden hue all the way to the rim.
- Nose: Sherry, oxidization, caramel, petrol, gasoline, sulphur, very faint hint of cherry on the nose after tasting it, figs, dates, very ripe Bartlett pear, wet earth, stone, like a limestone cave, earthen and damp. When you hang out the wine, it is very complex and interesting, nutmeg. As it opens u, more baking spices including cinnamon and florals like carnation.
- Palate: Cherry, herbs, ricola cough drop, cherry ricola cough drops, very herbal, very clean, very herbal, long lasting finish, herbs, fresh cherry, and nectarine. The finish is actually quite mouthwatering.
- Pairing: With the salad, so nice with our vinaigrette of a white wine vinegar and orange olive oil and loved the fresh garden tomatoes. This may not be your typical pairing with this wine. The orange olive oil tames the oxidation in the wine. The wine loved the rich chicken dinner.
Is this really Chardonnay? It has heft, complexity, and is done in a rich intense style.
2018 Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Singulier Trousseau Arbois
ABV 13.81%; SRP $40 purchased at WineHouse
I remember loving the Trousseau we tasted before, and so I was thrilled to find this one from the short lists of wines available to us. I also was excited to purchase a wine made biodynamically.
- Color: Light translucent, rhubarb, pale pink rim, very pretty in the glass
- Nose: Sue thought it was a lot like Grenache with the pretty florals and baking spices, but in addition there is the distinctive funky oxidization smell that is characteristic of the wines in this region. (or as we have come to discover in our now two experiences with this wine.) These wines are so distinct. Menthol, eucalyptus. As it opens up black licorice comes through.
- Palate: Bright tart fruit, interesting earthy finish, rhubarb, super sour tart rhubarb with earth, there is really nothing like this wine, so tart and so bright. Neither one of us wanted to sip this wine without food. This is not really a cocktail wine. The finish after a meal is earthy herbal and raspberry bright fruit. There is an interesting clean putty finish on the wine, when I think about that area and the glacial slurry, I can imagine that it has had an influence on the grapes.
- Pairing: With the salad, the wine brings out the umami in the tomato, and the bright acidity in the wine is tamed. The orange olive oil brings out beautiful fruit. I actually preferred the Trousseau with our salad tonight. It was a super simple. Our ham and cheese pockets were also quite nice with the wine and so fantastic with the earthy mushrooms and cream.
The mushrooms rock with the wine.
This meal brings out such fresh raspberry brambly fruit in the wine. It finishes up such a rich decadent meal so nicely.
- This is a high end wine and it is an acquired taste. If you have the opportunity to experience all that the wine and cuisine paired together have to offer, then we both say Go For It!, ut would this wine be on your everyday radar? We don’t think so. it is very hard to acquire and expensive at that.
Marshall at the end of the evening: “Damn Sue that chicken was so good.”
The recipe is so simple when you think about ingredients. There aren’t any herbs, onion or garlic. It was basically butter, chicken, wine, cream and mushroom with a bit of salt and pepper. So pure, so. basic, and so great with these wines. This is the simplest recipe ever, but it is a heart attack waiting to happen.
There’s a lot to learn about Jura, the region, the wines, and the food. It certainly is a region I’d like to visit, and as a skier and hiker there’s lots to do there to work off the rich food! One resource is Wink Lorch’s book, Jura Wine, which came out. a few years ago. I checked it out last year when we were staying with Caroline Henry in Champagne, and I wanted to read more! I really wish I’d picked up a copy of the book by now!
Learn more from my fellow French #Winophiles. Here’s a listing of the articles we can look forward to reading when the French Winophiles visit The Jura with host David Crowley. Read his invite here.
Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla will share “Seafood B’Stilla + Domaine Rolet Arbois Trousseau 2012“
Pinny from Chinese Food and Wine Pairings is “Sipping Tissot-Marie Crémant Du Jura and Snacking Fried Pork Skin“
Linda from My Full Wine Glass will be heading “Back to the Jura (virtually), for Crémant this time around“
Robin from Crushed Grape Chronicles is “Channeling the Jura for a rooftop getaway with a bottle of Savagnin and Friends“
Payal from Keep the Peas is sharing “Sherry? No, Jura“
David from Cooking Chat will be sharing “Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs with Jura Wine“
Terri from Our Good Life will tell us about “Sparkling Jura for Celebratory Moments“
Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm will serve up “Bourride served with a Chardonnay from Jura“
Nicole from Somm’s Table will be “Cooking to the Wine: Two Savagnins from Domaine Daniel Dugois with Coquilles St. Jacques“
Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva is talking about “Jura in the Afternoon“
Gwendolyn from Wine Predator will share “Exploring Flavors of Jura Food and Wine Take Two: Trousseau and Melon“
Susannah from Avvinaire tells us about “Discovering Delights From Jura Region“
Join our chat about wines from the Jura.
- 10/17/2020 11:00 a.m. EST Welcome to the #Winophiles chat on the Jura! Introduce yourself, and from where you are tweeting. Share a link to your blog if applicable.
- 10/17/2020 11:07 a.m. EST Q1 So we are talking about the Jura, for today’s #Winophiles. Have you ever visited the region? Tell us what you thought. Share a picture if you have one!
- 10/17/2020 11:14 a.m. EST Q2 The Jura is a mountainous region in Eastern France, nestled between Burgundy and Switzerland. There are some very interesting wines to be tried from this small region! What did you pour? Share a link to your blog if you wrote on the topic today. #Winophiles
- 10/17/2020 11:19 a.m. EST Q3 What kind of selection of Jura wines are there in your area? Was it easy or hard to track down wine for today’s event? #winophiles
- 10/17/2020 11:25 a.m. EST Q4 Tell us something interesting about the wine or winery that you picked. Does anything notable stand out? #Winophiles
- 10/17/2020 11:32 a.m. EST Q5 What did you serve with your Jura wine? Was it food associated with the region? Or have you tried any food associated with the Jura at another time? #winophiles
- 10/17/2020 11:37 a.m. EST Q6 How did the wine and food pairing fare? How did the flavors in the food complement your wine? Share a link to your blog if you wrote on the topic today. #Winophiles
- 10/17/2020 11:44 a.m. EST Q7 The Jura produces wine from some off-the beaten path grapes, including Trousseau, Poulsard and Savagnin. Have you tried wines made from these grapes? Tell us about it! #Winophiles
- 0/17/2020 11:50 a.m. EST Q8The Jura also features wines made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, more familiar grapes. If you have tried Jura wine made from these common grapes, how would you described the characteristics the exhibit from this region? #Winophiles
- 10/17/2020 11:57 a.m. EST Q9 #Winophiles Any final thoughts about the Jura? Did you learn something new about the region, the wines, the food? Do tell!
- 10/17/2020 11:59 a.m. EST Next month #Winophiles will be focusing on Sweet Bordeaux hosted by Jeff of @foodwineclick. There’s a Facebook event for it here: https://www.facebook.com/events/777783376346865
- 10/17/2020 12:00 p.m. EST Thanks for joining the October #Winophiles chat as we talked about the Jura wine region. Hope you enjoyed! Cheers.
NOTE: This is post #111 for 2020, putting me close to 160,000 words for 2020. It’s post #982 since I started this blog back in November 2008. For Blogtober, I missed yesterday… so this is post #15 of 16 days in October. Let’s see if I can get back on track!