The tasting included three Chardonnay wines that were sold as a mixed box. They were all in ouillé style, i.e., vinified in “toppaed up” barrels without the oxidation that characterises traditional Jura wines. To me, these Labet wines shows quite a bit of Chablis-type character, with some similarities to “regular Burgundies”.
I wrote a slightly longer profile on Jura in late 2013 when I blogged about a different Jura tasting in the autumn of 2013. So check that out for more background.
These tasting notes are mostly based on samples from bottles that had been open for a while.
Côtes du Jura, grape variety Chardonnay, 15 months in old oak barrels.
Nose with ripe apple, pear, chalky minerality and a discrete Chardonnay butteriness. Palate with apple, pear, grapefruit, good concentration of fruit, prominent minerality, rather high acidity, and a mineral-dominated aftertaste. Drinks rather well now, could develop and should be more approachable in 1-2 years, 87 p.
Chablis-like on the palate, but more Bourgogne Blanc-like in the nose. Rather fruity for its origin. The vintage character probably plays in here, because 2014 seems to have given more ripe French wines in general than 2013 did.
2013 Les Champs Rouges
Côtes du Jura, grape variety Chardonnay, 12 months in 4-10 year old oak barrels.
The nose is noticeably chalky with a slightly smoky minerality, green apple, discrete spice and oak barrel notes in the background with slightly oily notes and hints of flowers. (A bottle that just had been opened showed some notes of reduction with a smoky impression.) Palate with a tough attack, noticeable minerality, high acidity, a bit of body and concentration, a light mineral bitterness, and a long minerality-packed aftertaste. Young, cellaring recommended, 89+/90(+) p.
Stylistically, this wine reminds me quite a bit of a Chablis premier cru with discrete oak barrel notes or possibly a slightly lean Puligny-Montrachet. It is slightly tougher than the following wine, which probably is a reflection of the vintage Character. 2013 is generally high in acidity which gives firm wines suitable for extended cellaring. Of these three wines, I’d say this deserves to be cellared the longest.
2012 Les Varrons
Côtes du Jura, grape variety Chardonnay, 22 months in old oak barrels.
Nose with noticeably chalky minerality and green apple. (A bottle that just had been opened showed some notes of reduction with a smoky impression.) Palate with good concentration and firmness combined with rather generous fruit, green apple, rather high acidity, and minerality mid-palate and aftertaste. Young, should preferably be cellared at least a couple of years, 89(+) p.
This wine is rather firm and definitely balanced, but at the same time a bit more fruity, generous and bigger than the Les Champs Rouges. This is probably also a reflection of the vintage character. 2012 has good acidity and a fine balance, but doesn’t quite show the same firmness and “hardness” as 2013. From one and the same vintage, Les Varrons is probably the wine to cellar longer, but in this case I think the 2013 Les Champs Rouges should be kept longer than the 2012 Les Varrons.