Juranuary and Beyond
For this week’s wine tasting, we trek all the way from Jura to Slovenia to celebrate the beginning of a new decade.
While we know many of you are participating in Dry January to start off the new year, we also know that many of you aren’t and are actively looking to support European producers in the wake of possible new wine tariffs. That’s why we are back at it to start both the new year and a new decade of wine drinking.
January is always Jura month for us (aka Juranuary). The power and elegance of these wines hold up well in the chilly air. They also provide contemplative experiences that unfurl over hours of sipping. Because of this fact, we start our tasting in Jura with a skin contact Savagnin. From there we head over to Slovenia, for an excitingly fresh white wine. Finally, we head back to where the new year started: with a bottle of bubbles from the Loire.
Though skin contact Savagnin is typically not how this grape is used in Jura, Domaine de la Pinte shows how this style of winemaking brings out a youthful balance between acid and dynamic textural qualities in this version of Savagnin.
In the glass, it is deeply (but brightly) orange in color. On the nose, it shows classically spicy notes with hints of apricots. On the palette, you experience a lifted grapefruit acidity and toothsome herbal notes upfront. As things evolve with the wine open, a salinity starts to gently emerge. Into the long finish, it develops both a nice textural weight and a tannic grip. Overall, the wine showcases how much elegance can come from Jura at more affordable price points.
We’re not quite sure why Slovenian wines, especially those from Movia, haven’t gotten as much attention as wines in Austria or the Czech Republic. But we are excited to see 10 year old white wines that sell for $30 and under. There is almost nowhere else in the world you can find wines with this much age, for this cheap.
Golden colored in the glass, it manages to feature touches of ripe stone fruit, pomelo acidity, zesty orange peel, and wildflowers throughout. This is balanced nicely by more medium bodied qualities, with slight caramel, honey and buttery touches present, particularly as the wine opens up. However, these notes are never cloying or flabby. For this white blend, the winemakers have created something surprisingly energetic and intriguing. This is one you’ll want to drink without food.
Hervé Villemade, What’s Up Blanc
Hervé Villemade is one of our favorite producers from Cheverny in the Loire. He consistently makes delicious and approachable wines, suited to his tastes, that we don’t want to stop drinking. Sometimes when it comes to enjoying wine, no frills is best!
For his What’s Up Blanc, Villemade manages to bring us back to our New Year’s Eve parties just over a week ago. Gorgeously straw colored with generous small bubbles, this sparkler is classical fun in a bottle. It features some of that lovely creaminess we swoon over, with a sturdy acidity and slightly sour green apples qualities to balance. Because of these tart notes, we think this sparkling wine would also appeal to the beer drinkers who might show up at your next dinner party.