Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Back in the day—the 1600s or thereabouts—the Jura was one of the major wine regions in France with about 10 times as much acreage devoted to vineyards as there is today. Now, however, the region produces a style of light but tannic and spicy wine that is often under-appreciated. The reds are almost rosé-like in color, but because they have so much tannin, they can age a long time while still maintaining their freshness.
Which leads me to the wine I’ve chosen, the Jean Bourdy Côtes du Jura Rouge 2010. Jean Bourdy is a producer who does things in a very old school way. Most Jura producers age their wines in stainless steel, resulting in wines that have an almost sweet, fruity purity. Jean Bourdy, on the other hand, not only ages wines in old oak but keeps them there for a long time before release—three to four years minimum. That gives the wines an extra complexity and the ability to age for decades. In fact, the winery has a library of vintages in its cellars that goes back to the early 1900s, and even earlier.
Try it Now: Jean Bourdy Côtes du Jura Rouge 2010 $28.99
This is the winery’s most recent release, and you can certainly drink it now, as long as you decant it for a couple of hours to let the tannins soften and the flavors marry (it’s a little tightly coiled right after it’s uncorked). Or you can hang on to it for 10 years or so. Either way, it’s a terrific wine that pairs well with cheeses and charcuterie. In fact, this is a remarkably food-friendly wine that also goes with a wide range of dishes, like roast game (pheasant, duck, or goose), chicken, and fattier fish, such as salmon, trout, or black cod.
My recommendation? Buy a case or two and drink a bottle every year or so. The younger wines (after they’ve opened up for a couple of hours) will give you really pure, tart cherry fruit, wild strawberry, some green notes, and a little mint. Ten years from now, the tannins will have softened and you’re going to get richer, softer fruit flavors, stewed plum and cherries, and you’ll still have that distinctive freshness.