Tag Archives: Vin Jaune

Wine Mine: January 2016

Christian Drouhin, Cidre du Poiré, 375ml 

A spontaneous combustion of pear magic.  Refreshing, courageous, a good start/middle/end to any day. Even for non pear fans thanks to the gentle funk.

A blend of 5 pear types: Plant de Blanc, Muscadet, Tricotin, Avenelle & Poire de Grise

Unfiltered, just pears.

 Vin Jaune d’Arbois, Jacques Puffeney, 2006


For only 14%, this vin jaune has decidedly strong weight to it and no flab. Toast, nuts, caramelled honey (is that a thing?) lingering acidity to balance, giving great mouthfeel. Not for the fainhearted.

A rare wine, made only the very best years, of Savagnin aged between 6-8 years in foudre before being aged further in bottle.

BARBARESCO, Produttori del Barbaresco, 2011

The Queen is in good form. Classic co-operative Produttori del Barbaresco offers a shining example of elegance, a ruby of Piedmont. Nearly herbaceous aromatics, surprisingly structured yet subtle. Climbs the walls of your mouth, builds energy the longer it’s open. Detailed.

Domaine Grand Guilhem “Fitou”, 2014

A blend of indigenous vines in Languedoc, averaging around 60 years old: Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre. Grown in the hot, dry sun on gentle slopes. From the oldest AOC in Languedoc (Corbieres), considered a royal wine of the 17th & 18th century.

Concentrated, intense body, prunes, nuts and rugged caress. Let it air for an hour before drinking, definitely will age well over several years. No added sulfites.

Vermouth di Torino, “Rosso”, Alessio 

Banned by the church in the Dark Ages as it was considered a self-serving tonic that drew people away from religion as the keeper of knowledge. Considered a luxury wine. Originally created by Girolamo Ruscelli (alias Alessio Piemontese), this vermouth has made been modeled after his recipe and is one of my go-to when feeling sickly. Seamless concoction of herbs and roots, perfect all on its own. Way better than Echinacea.

Chateau d’Arlay Vin Jaune, Vin de Liqueur Macvin, et Vin de Paille 2002


An incredible way to taste the Jura, aged white wines (that border on liqueurs), and most importantly the sensibility of Alain de Laguiche. The Chateau has been classified as an historic monument that carries a family tradition of wine making for centuries, honoring and elevating the taste of terroir into an almost ethereal experience. Their tradition is marked by the use of aging on subterranean lees, and southern sun exposure to the vines. Each wine is a world unto itself, with a quality that can seemingly only be described as uniquely personal. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to taste these wines side by side at Bar Vivant, in a city I didn’t know, while reading “The Third Policeman” by Flann O’Brian. It was a rare evening, all around.

From left to right, Vin Jaune to Vin de Paille, the progression went from a heavy mineral, slightly nutty, manzanilla-like character to deep, brooding maple, smoked cherry and straw butter. Concentrated, intense, powerful, but all totally different!

le Vin Jaune: 100% Savagnin. Traditional methods apply, where wine undergoes 2nd fermentation allowing yeasts to form a protective layer at the top of the barrel. Over a course of 6 1/2 years, this develops into the bouquet that is so characteristic of Vin Jaune (and quite similar to that of some sherries).

le Vin de Liqueur Macvin: Chardonnay (50%) et Savagnin (50%). Aged for 7 years in brandy casks followed by 3 years in old oak barrels.

le Vin de Paille:  Chardonnay (30%), Poulsard (20%), Trousseau (20%) et Savagnin (30%). Vine clusters are hand picked and placed on straw mats for 3-4 months. The drying process naturally concentrates the fruit, elevates the sugar level and reduces acidity levels. After a light pressing, the liquid is put into small barrels and aged for 3-4 years, with no sugar added.