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The Middle-earth of wine: Jura

Just like J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth portrays a land in an imaginary period of the Earth’s past, the wine region of Jura in France tends to resonate with a place locked in time. From the raw beauty of the landscape, the salt of the earth vignerons to the unadulterated elegance and purity of the wines, the Jura region wholeheartedly deserves more attention. With a focus on the indigenous red varietal of Trousseau, we share with you today the wines from Lucien Aviet et Fils. 

Dear Reader,

One of the undisputed legends of Jura, Lucien Aviet sadly passed away in May 2021 at the age of 84. Born into a farming family, Lucien made Caveau de Bacchus his fulltime job in 1960 after returning from fighting in the Algerian War. From early on, Lucien had planted vineyards in and around his village of Montigny-les-Arsures and was one of the first growers in the region to bottle and sell his own wine. His son Vincent has been making the wine for quite some time already, but Lucien’s presence in the cellar will surely be missed for a while to come.

“The family of Lucien Aviet, nicknamed Bacchus, has been making wine in their Caveau de Bacchus since 1960. To me, they are the hidden gem of Jura, making great wines in all styles and at a very affordable price.”
Luis Gutiérrez | Wine Advocate | April 2021

For today’s offer, we have put together a case of six bottles of Trousseau. This varietal produces red wine very light in colour but dense in aroma and flavour. It has a long history in Jura and was believed to have been favoured by farmers as a varietal to be replanted after phylloxera had devastated vineyards across Europe at the end of the 19th century.

There are different Trousseau Cuvée des Géologues wines that the Domaine produces, named after some geologists that helped Lucien Aviet conduct studies to better understand the soils of the vineyards years ago. The mixed case here consists of two such cuvées.

Lucien Aviet et Fils. 6-bottle case R 3,450

Only 30 mixed cases available
*Price is per 6-bottle mixed case and incl. VAT

Arbois Trousseau “Marne Rouge” | 2019 | 3 x bottles
The grapes come from a 40-year-old vineyard planted on red marl (marne in French) soils and once at the winery, are fermented with indigenous yeasts and the wine matured in oak foudre until bottling.

Arbois Trousseau “Les Bruyères” | 2019 | 3 x bottles
“Les Bruyères” is the name of the vineyard. This parcel of Trousseau is planted at a higher altitude on a south-facing slope where the soil composition changes from gravel to marl.

Along with the above two wines, we received a very small amount of another Trousseau cuvée and the oxidative, sherry-like white, the “Réserve du Caveau” Savagnin 2013.

Trousseau "313 Jours" 2017 R795 per bottle

The vintage “Grand Cellier d’Or” is also Chardonnay-dominant and produced from the lieu-dit of Blanches Voies – a single plot of fifty-year-old vines planted in chalky soil. There is a greater ratio of wine to wood on this cuvée as a portion of the wine is vinified in 600 litre oak barrels. The wine spends ten months in 228L oak barrels before being bottled. The 2015 vintage spent a further 42 months on its lees before being disgorged in December 2019.

Only 24 bottles available (on request only)

The 2017 Trousseau “313 Jours” cuvée gets its name from the 313 days the wine macerated with the skins. The grapes come from limestone-rich soils.

“…the wine has great finesse…It’s a wine that you’d think would be powerful and extracted, but in fact, it’s lighter colored and feels very elegant and balanced. It should develop very nicely in bottle.”
94 points, Luis Gutiérrez | Wine Advocate

Savagnin “Réserve du Caveau” 2013
R 715 per bottle

Only 24 bottles available (on request only)

After being pressed, the Savagnin is matured with a veil of yeast in a combination of 225-litre barrels and demi-muids for about seven years before being bottled. This is somewhat like a junior Vin Jaune and is an absolute must if you have never tried the wine before. We highly recommend it is enjoyed with mature Comté cheese (traditional in Jura). Contact La Cotte in Franschhoek (here) and The French Market in Cape Town (here) for prices and availability. For a domestic cheese, we suggest some aged Huguenot.

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