Are you ready to explore the wine and cuisine of The Jura? An area near the French Alps east of Burgundy, adjacent to Italy and Germany, and where The Jura Mountains line the border between Switzerland and France, the word “Jura” derives from juria, a Latinized form of the Celtic jor meaning”forest”, and refers to the French department of Jura, the Swiss Canton of Jura, AND the geologic time period, the Jurassic— because this limestone strata was first identified in the Jura Mountains. With its waterfalls and walking trails, the mountainous scenic area is popular with hikers and skiers too. The distinctive wine and food of The Jura may be popular also but it may not be for everyone. Is it for you?
Why might wine from The Jura be considered challenging?
Frankly, the often organic wines from The Jura just aren’t accessible to most people.
- Wines from The Jura are hard to find; very low production from the smallest wine growing region in France means they aren’t readily found outside of France — and not easy to find there either!
- Wines from The Jura are expensive; they really aren’t any entry level wines from The Jura that serve as an introduction to the region or the grapes grown there.
- Wines from The Jura are made from unfamiliar grapes or made in unfamiliar styles, often highly acidic and oxidized, not those typically appreciated by people newer to wine.
But if you’re looking for a new adventure in wine and food, or looking for wines made using organic, biodynamic, or sustainable practices, The Jura is the place to go!
The cuisine of The Jura is rich, flavorful, and expresses the adage “what grows together goes together!” We found both fascinating and if points one and two weren’t in play, we would have snapped some up and made a meal! But I’d have to travel to LA or order online to find the wines, and this price point challenges my budget right now, especially since both Sue and I recently returned from three week road trips which entailed a few cases of wine purchases!
Try These 4 Wines from The Jura
2008 Domaine De Saint Pierre “Arbois” Vin Jaune
SRP $42 (375ml)
purchased at WineHouse LA
This is the most famous wine of The Jura. Sold in the seventh year after harvest in a distinct shaped bottle called a clavelin, the wine may remind you of sherry. Both wines are influenced by flor, a particular yeasty layer that develops on the wine as it ages, but in the case of Vin Jaune, it is not fortified while sherry is.
The grape variety is Savagnin Blanc, an ancient white wine grape native to the this region of north eastern France near the Swiss border known for its cool climate and heavy clay-limestone soils. A vibrant yellow, the hue gives it its name: Jaune. On the nose, there’s lemon as well as on the palate plus it’s briny, nutty, and full of minerality. The finish never finishes: smokey with a bit of lingering clove snuff.
2017 Jean Claude Credoz Melon Cotes du Jura AOP
purchased at WineHouse LA
Composed of 100% melon, the regional name for Chardonnay, this wine is far from your typical Chardonnay, so all you ABCers, don’t turn up your nose!
With a golden yellow buttercup color, this wine has a complex nose of caramel, petrol, gasoline, sulphur, figs, dates, very ripe Bartlett pear, wet earth, stone, like a limestone cave, earthen and damp. As it opens and warms, baking spices like nutmeg and cinnamon plus florals like carnation. On the palate, cherry ricola cough drops, very herbal, very clean, long lasting finish, nectarine. The finish is actually quite mouthwatering.
2014 Artois Pupillin Trousseau le Ginguet
purchased at WineHouse LA
While Trousseau is a dark-skinned wine grape, it produces a moderately colored wine, a very lovely cherry red. Indigenous to Jura, in Portugal it’s known as Bastardo, and in Spain as Merenzao and Verdejo Negro.
With the earth and strawberries that I love typical of Pinot Noir plus the spice and rose petals I love about Grenache, this is a wine after my heart! Along with wild strawberries, it has huckleberries; it’s tart, light, acidic, and very vibrant with an earthy finish.
2018 Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Singulier Trousseau Arbois
biodynamic; purchased at WineHouse LA
Many wines in The Jura are made organically and biodynamically– like this one!
Lightly colored rhubarb, almost translucent, with a pale pink rim, and very pretty in the glass, this wine offers romas similar to Grenache with the pretty florals and baking spices, but with the distinctive funky oxidization smell that we think of of the wines in this region with menthol and eucalyptus. As it opens up black licorice comes through. On the palate, tart rhubarb fruit with an interesting earthy finish, rhubarb, super sour tart rhubarb with earth, there is really nothing like this wine, so tart and so bright. Best with food! 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.
The mushrooms rock with the wine. This suggested foods (below), especially the mushrooms, bring out such fresh raspberry brambly fruit in the wine.
Try These 4 Foods from The Jura with Wine from The Jura
- Croute au morbier: toasted baguette with morbier cheese melted
- Croute au morilles: toasted baguette with wild mushrooms in cream wine sauce with parmesan
- Fertile combos au Jambon: ham and comte cheese wrapped in puff pastry
This is a 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.
These are high end wines for most people, and possibly an acquired taste; not everyone will love them as much as we did. Would this wine be on your everyday radar? Probably not, but if you’re still feeling cooped up due to COVID, this is a way to have a radically different experience with out leaving your home if you can find the wines online to order and be delivered to your door.
Want more from The Jura? I first wrote about The Jura in 2016 here and again in 2020 The <a
- Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm tempts us with Slow Cooker Mushroom Soup with a Jura Trosseau.
- Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla knocks it out of the park as always, this time with Poulet Rôti + Charles Rouget 2018 Trousseau Côtes du Jura.
- Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles tells us about A Baby Vin Jaune 15 Generations in the Making.
- Gwendolyn over on Wine Predator takes us 4 Wines and 4 Dishes To Try from The Jura in The French Alps.
- Jeff from Food Wine Click! explains The Jura Beyond Vin Jaune.
- Jane at Always Ravenous leads us to “Discover Jura Wines Paired with a Cheese Plate.”
- Pierre and Cynthia at Traveling Wine Profs encourages us to Open that Jura now!
- And lastly, Payal, this month’s host, at Keep the Peas has “A Day in the Life of a Jura Wine Lover.”
href=”https://winepredator.com/2020/10/16/exploring-flavors-of-jura-food-and-wine-take-two-trousseau-and-melon-winophiles/”>Jura there. Between now and Saturday at 8am, you’ll find these articles published live by members of the Winophiles:
All are welcome to join or follow our twitter chat this Saturday, Sept 21 at 8am Pacific by searching for the hashtag #winophiles. Here are the discussion topics and timing:
- 8/21/2021 11:00 a.m. EST
- Welcome to the #Winophiles chat on Jura! Introduce yourself, and from where you are tweeting. Share a link to your blog if you’d like.
- 8/21/2021 11:05 a.m. EST
- Q1 So we are talking about Jura today. When did you first hear about Jura? Have you ever visited? Thoughts? Tell us! #Winophiles
- 8/21/2021 11:10 a.m. EST
- Q2 Perhaps the smallest wine region in France, the Jura offers red, white, yellow, sparkling, and even fortified wine. What did you pour? Share a link to your blog if you wrote on the topic today. #Winophiles
- 8/21/2021 11:15 a.m. EST
- Q3 Tell us more about the grapes and where in the Jura your wine was from. North, south, where? #Winophiles
- 8/21/2021 11:20 a.m. EST
- Q4 Jura is full of small wineries which makes for unique finds. Tell us something interesting about the wine or winery that you selected. Any fun facts? Anything notable we should know? #Winophiles
- 8/21/2021 11:25 a.m. EST
- Q5 Let’s talk pairings. Did you have it as an aperitif? With a meal? Tell us about your Jura wine pairings. Thoughts? Would you do it again? Share a pic or link to your blog. #Winophiles
- 8/21/2021 11:30 a.m. EST
- Q6 Were you able to find Jura wines easily in your area? Were you looking for one or a style that you weren’t able to get? #Winophiles
- 8/21/2021 11:35 a.m. EST
- Q8 #Winophiles Any final thoughts about Jura wines? Did you learn something new about the region, the wines, the food? Tell us!
- 8/21/2021 11:40 a.m. EST
- Shoutout to the #Winophiles bloggers who wrote about Jura and joined us today. Cheers! @ArtPredator @always_ravenous @Culinary_Cam @WendyKlik @foodwineclick @CrushGrapeChron @reefraff_pv Pierre Ly
- 8/21/2021 11:50 a.m. EST
- Next month #Winophiles will explore Côtes du Rhône hosted by @WendyKlik so keep an eye out for the invitation.
- 8/21/2021 12:00 p.m. EST
- Thanks for joining the August #Winophiles chat as we talked about the small but mighty Jura wine region. Hope you enjoyed!
Still thirsty to learn more about The Jura? Check out Wink Lorch’s book on Jura.