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February’s 29 days of Chardonnay

a collaborative project


Real Chardonnay

Authored by Evil Bottle

I hate seeing the cruel and tortuous methods that winemakers employ to manipulate the glories that real chardonnay can impart to a bottle of wine. It’s oh so sad to see what bullshit wine is poured into a bottle that is sometimes labeled as Chardonnay. Such nobility, and splendor completely wasted on wines produced for the masses that have the flavor profile ranging from a Worther’s Original to a Brach’s Milk Maid caramel. What complexity. What’s even more sad is the fact that most people have never tasted the exquisite magic that a bottle of dyed-in-the-wool, true blue Chardonnay can produce. All of the beauty of fruit and acid, with the ever so endearing ability to age with grace.

Lost in between a world of boutique Napa Chardonnay and Grand Cru Burgundy, exists a land where real, honest and meek Chardonnay is produced. It’s a region that doesn’t get much attention. It’s an appellation that attracts those who seek truth in wine, truth in terroir, and belief in humble wine making practices. It is an area with a cool climate and a mountainous geography, made up of small villages, with nary a large town or city within reach. Isolation has become it’s salvation.

Jura is more known as the land of Comté cheese, and Vin Jaune. It’s also known for its noteworthy Pinot Noir, Poulssard, Savagnin, and Trousseau made varietal wines. It is also known by many oenophiles as a Mecca for sense-of-place driven Chardonnay. These wines are not attempting to copy anything seen in Montrachet or Chablis. Jura Chardonnay speaks for its self and can hold its own. I will not wax philosophically or poetically. I’ll get right to heart. I love these wines.

Michel Gahier Chardonnay Arbois “Fauquette” 

Pick a vintage, any vintage,and I can personally guarantee that this wine will absolutely rock. Gahier makes a few vineyard designated Chardonnays. I like them all. This is my favorite. The first time I tasted it, it was blind, and up against some very stiff competition from Burgundy. All in attendance were completely unanimous in acknowledging that this wine was head and shoulders the best of the night. Tasting like an aged Chablis, the slight hint of oxidation only adds to its charm. Loaded with minerals, and just enough fruit that shines through like a beacon, Granny Smith apples, dried apricot, with a touch liqueur. It tastes like the dirt it comes from and much more. Fauquette is what Chardonnay lovers scour the four corners of the earth for: real, terroir-driven Chardonnay.

Stéphane Tissot Chardonnay “Les Graviers”

The Tissot name is synonymous with Jura, and none of their wines disappoint. Stéphane Tissot “Les Graviers” is a mind-blowing. It’s a trip of a wine that really makes you step back, and ask yourself: “what is this?” It is that kind of Chardonnay. It is that kind of wine. It really makes you re-think they way you look at Chardonnay. It is so utterly Jura typical, while having so many atypical Chardonnay aromas and flavor going on at the same time. A beast of a nose, with candied and dried stone fruit, a waft of Calvados, and underbrush notes. The chutzpah is in the palate and it’s multi-faceted layers of tart green apples, walnuts, sage, and dried stone fruits. Pure genius, pure terroir, pure Jura Chardonnay.

Bio: Cistóbal Arellano Borges A.K.A. Evil Bottle

Inhaler of French wine, and a terroir advocate. Believer in natural wine, and the idea that wine is much more than a number or score. Part-time schlepping it at a wine shop, full-time real wine badassery at www.evilbottle.com & @evilbottle.