2005 Phillipe Bornard Vin de Pagaille

2005 Phillipe Bornard Vin de Pagaille

2005 Phillipe Bornard Vin de Pagaille

Here’s a wine that will satisfy both your hankering for a delicious wine that is off-dry and one that will sate your inner wine geek…..a Vin de Paille or “Straw Wine”  from that funkiest of regions…the Jura.

The Jura is the gateway to the Alps and lies near the Swiss border some 80kms the East of Burgundy. It’s a bucolic region of stunning scenery and cud-chewing cows with a Northern continental climate and soils consisting of clay-limestone with regular outcrops of marls. It’s quite a small region with some 1600 ha under vine that span over four sub-regional AOC’s and two broader AOC’s that arch over the whole region.

The Arbois & Côtes du Jura AOC’s are red, white and rosé appellations….the grapes permitted here are Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir for the reds and Chardonnay and Savagnin for the whites. The L’Étoile AOC allows Chardonnay, Savagnin and Poulsard grapes in their production. The Château-Chalon AOC only allows Savagnin grapes produced in the famous Vin Jaune-style.

The other two appellations cover the whole of the Jura…… the Crémant du Jura AOC is a sparkling wine appellation….white or rosé produced from Poulsard, Trousseau, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Savagnin or Pinot Gris. And finally the Macvin du Jura AOC is an appellation producing a late harvest vin du Jura fortified with Marc du Jura…. a firey pomace-based eau-di-vie.

Vin de Paille means straw wine and shares a lot in common with the Italian technique known as passito. The grapes are harvested then spread out and dried on straw mats or trays for up to three months. The moisture in the grapes evaporates, concentrating the sugars….once the required sugar level is reached….there are laws to govern these matters you know….the grapes are pressed off and by law the wine is aged in oak for a minimum of three years.

I’m not sure of the particular make-up of the Bornard wine but Vin de Paille tends to be a blend of Chardonnay and Savagnin with a touch of Poulsard in the mix to lend the wines their copperish hue. The appellation law also states that a Vin de Paille wine must have a minimum alcohol level of 14.5%…..the appellation laws could really do with a bit of a review as some wines falling under this style can lack a bit of balance….not the case with the Bornard wine though which weighs in at 12% alcohol, is classified as a vin de table and has the cheeky modified name.

Annie & Phillipe farm 6ha of land…inherited from Phillips father….near the top of the village of Pupillon. They farm biodynamically and after years of selling grapes to the local co-op, local winemaking,  Jurassian legend, Pierre Overnoy convinced Phillipe to start producing his own wines from the 2005 vintage.

Medium gold/onion skin in hue the wine throws out aromas that are exotic and heady and draw you into the glass. Rich aromas of candied orange peel and caramalised citrus fruits come to the fore immediately with hints of liquor-soaked raisins, apricot nectar, fruitcake spice, gingerbread, jasmine, cinnamon buscuits, marzipan, nut praline and mushroom broth. It’s incredibly rich and intricate with plenty of detail to the aromas….oxidised sherry-like characters adding to the allure.

Unctuous and weighty in the mouth it initially labours on the front palate before a wave of minerally acidity kicks it onwards with great energy. Rich flavours of apricot and stewed stonefruits. There are hints of gingersnaps, candied orange peel, jasmine, rosewater, fresh rich buttery biscuits, fruit cake, cinnamon, baking spices, marzipan, dried honey and nut praline. Great clarity and concentration, lip-smacking sweetness and a defined, energetic acid line this is one wine that is a joy to drink.

You’ll be in toy-town trying this wine with any dessert, cheese or a piece of foie gras the size of your head……wicked!

Price: $80 – Closure: Cork – Alcohol: 12% – Source: Cellar – Importer: Living Wines

Vin de Paille from the Jura is like sneeze-cheese for wine hipsters!

Vin de Paille from the Jura is like sneeze-cheese for wine hipsters!

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