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Arbois Chardonnay, Patchwork, Domaine Tissot 2018

White Wine from France - Jura & Savoie
Taken from several plots and soil types in this eastern region of France, as the name suggests, this is an incredibly complex chardonnay, full-bodied, rich yet with a steely backbone.
Out of stock
Code: JU1671

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • 1 - Bone dry
  • Chardonnay
  • 14% Alcohol
  • Bouquet/flavour marked by oak
  • Now to 2027
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

Jura & Savoie

Jura

Jura is one of France’s smaller wine producing regions, in the east of the country on the border with Switzerland. Most famous for its wonderful unfortified, flor-scented and nutty vin jaune wines, the area produces several different styles of wine from a varied terrain. The one thing they have in common is steep slopes facing south and south-east, and a predominance of the limestone named after the region – Jurassic. Indeed, the appellation of L’Etoile in the southern half of the AC is so-named for the miniscule star-shaped marine fossils found in the soil there.

The vineyards spread along a strip no more than eight miles across at its widest point, and little more than 35 miles long, oriented on a north-east/south-west axis. Winters here are harsh, and the vineyards are interspersed with woodland and pasture. Côtes de Jura is the all-embracing appellation for the area but there are smaller demarcated areas around Arbois, L’Etoile and the famous vin jaune only appellation...
Jura

Jura is one of France’s smaller wine producing regions, in the east of the country on the border with Switzerland. Most famous for its wonderful unfortified, flor-scented and nutty vin jaune wines, the area produces several different styles of wine from a varied terrain. The one thing they have in common is steep slopes facing south and south-east, and a predominance of the limestone named after the region – Jurassic. Indeed, the appellation of L’Etoile in the southern half of the AC is so-named for the miniscule star-shaped marine fossils found in the soil there.

The vineyards spread along a strip no more than eight miles across at its widest point, and little more than 35 miles long, oriented on a north-east/south-west axis. Winters here are harsh, and the vineyards are interspersed with woodland and pasture. Côtes de Jura is the all-embracing appellation for the area but there are smaller demarcated areas around Arbois, L’Etoile and the famous vin jaune only appellation Château-Chalon.

Chardonnay and savagnin make the white wines in these ACs, with the exception of Château-Chalon which can only be vin jaune made from savagnin, with pinot noir, poulsard (also known as ploussard) and trousseau making the reds. Sparkling crémant wines, many of which are excellent are made, as is a pétillant from poulsard. Reds are generally light, particularly so in the case of poulsard.

The great wine of the region is the abovementioned vin jaune. Made from savagnin harvested very ripe, the wine spends six years or so in old Burgundy barrels under a veil of yeast, very much like the flor of Jerez in Spain. It develops a delicious nutty, tangy flavour that marries wonderfully with local specialities like comte cheese and woodland mushrooms, particularly the much prized morilles. The unique 62cl ‘clavelin’ bottle is permitted because of its traditional association with the wine and represents the quantity of wine remaining from the original litre it started life as. Another speciality is the sweet vin de paille made from grapes raisined on straw mats until the January following the harvest. For lovers of pineau de Charente from the cognac region, a Jura Macvin is worth a try, being a blend of grape spirit and grape juice.




Savoie

The vineyards of the Savoie flourish in the Alpine region of France clustered close to the Swiss border and the city of Geneva. The mountains here mean a disparate array of vineyard sites in narrow valleys, many of them specialising in a particularly local grape variety farmed on steep mountain slopes.

The grape varieties mondeuse, jacquere, gringet, altesse, molette, gamay, roussanne, chardonnay and pinot noir all feature. Despite the number of varieties and terroirs to be found here, all are bottled under the catch-all appellation of Vin de Savoie or Savoie, though there are 16 crus that can append their name to the nomenclature e.g. Savoie Chignin.

Whites are generally crisp and fine-boned, particularly the Chignin mentioned above made from jacquere, though Chignin-Bergeron is fuller and rounder and made from roussanne. Reds too are not heavy dark blockbusters. Mondeuse makes characterful, grippy reds, sometimes oak-aged and sometimes made like Beaujolais, but production is geared much more towards white than red.

The area around Chambery in the south of the region is famous for its vermouth.
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Stéphane Tissot

One of the best winemakers of the Jura, Stéphane Tissot is innovative and inquiring, constantly trying out new methods and ideas. He returned to his family domain in Arbois in the early nineties and set about changing the way things were done, converting the estate, all 32 hectares of it, to biodynamic viticulture, increasing the density of plantings so that the vines compete harder against each other, dramatically reducing yields, and experimenting with clay amphorae for fermenting his reds. He uses little sulphur dioxide and when fermenting all his wines uses only natural yeasts, vinifying terroir by terroir, plot by plot, and making a wide range of wine styles, from chardonnay, pinot noir, poulsard and trousseau of great purity, to sparkling and sweet vins de paille, all very expressive of where they are from. He also carries on the family tradition of making the nutty, oxidative wines of Jura from the savagnin grape. These wines, unfortified and matured in barrels that are not topped up as the wine slowly evaporates, see a film of yeast (known as flor and also found in fino sherry) develop protectively on the surface, a style well worth exploring.

2018 vintage reviews

JancisRobinson.com

Pale gold. Stunning aroma of smoky, savoury citrus. Quite marked by a smoky/mineral reductive aroma but not excessively so. Chewy, intense, super-fresh. This is one of the most striking chardonnays I have ...
Pale gold. Stunning aroma of smoky, savoury citrus. Quite marked by a smoky/mineral reductive aroma but not excessively so. Chewy, intense, super-fresh. This is one of the most striking chardonnays I have tasted in a long time, with a strong statement of place of origin and style, a combination of outstanding freshness and fruit depth, and it was very hard not to swallow this in the tasting. Intense, savoury, salty, glorious. Very very good value. 17.5/20
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Julia Harding MW

decanter.com

Barrel-fermented and then aged in barrel (10% new) for 12-14 months, this Jura chardonnay is generous and spicy in character, made with minimal intervention and biodynamically by the talented innovator...
Barrel-fermented and then aged in barrel (10% new) for 12-14 months, this Jura chardonnay is generous and spicy in character, made with minimal intervention and biodynamically by the talented innovator St�phane Tissot. Patchwork in the name refers to the blend of different plots and soil types that go into this wine, which has a full-bodied complexity and steely acid backbone. Impressive.
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Amy Wislocki

JancisRobinson.com

Wine of the Week: [This wine], to which I gave a score of 17.5 and assigned the label VVGV (very, very good value), is pale gold with a stunning aroma of smoky, savoury citrus, quite marked by that...

Wine of the Week: [This wine], to which I gave a score of 17.5 and assigned the label VVGV (very, very good value), is pale gold with a stunning aroma of smoky, savoury citrus, quite marked by that reductive smokiness but not quite as extreme as the struck-match character found in some chardonnays or sauvignon blancs made more deliberately in that style. The texture is attractively and satisfyingly chewy, the fruit intense, the whole super-fresh, with a savoury, salty quality and a very long finish. It's a gloriously deep and pleasurable wine, from an intellectual as well as from a sensory perspective. It is one of the most striking chardonnays I have tasted in a long time, particularly at this price.

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Julia Harding

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