caves jean bourdy
Jean Francois and Jean Phillipe Bourdy are 15th generation wine makers at the 500 years old Caves Jean Bourdy in the small village Arlay. The cellar they work in and the house they live in has not changed much in that time and Jean Francois insists that their winemaking has not changed either.
They cultivate 10 hectares of vines including a small plot in Chateau Chalon. These are not young, fresh and fruity wines, they want to make wines that will stand the test of time. Jean Francois believes the continental climate they work in produces wines that need many years before they can be drunk. Typically wines are held back 4-5 years in barrel before they are released.
They have been practicing Biodynamics for well over a decade and are now Demeter certified as well. Both brothers fear chemical use not only for the health of their families that work the land but also for the natural world around them. They believe that sustainability is key if they want to be around for another 500 years.
Vineyards are a mix of vines 60-80 years in age and any new plantings are from cuttings of their own vines. They use very small tractors in their vineyard to ensure soil structure. The Jura is wet and they usually see around 1300ml of rain each year so the cover crops and grass between the vines grow very quickly. Dynamized cow manure from their neighbor’s cows is the only form of fertilizer they use. To control disease they use a mixture of whey and flower teas.
Their red wine is always mixed in the field and is co-fermented, which means the cuvee is slightly different each year. Poulsard is very delicate and in cold vintages can fail to flower and fruit. It makes up anywhere from 10%-30% of wine each year along with Trousseau and Pinot Noir in equal parts. Reds are a blend of free run and press wine with skin contact for about 2 weeks.
All wines are fermented with native yeast in old oak vats. Typically fermentation takes 3-4 days and starts very quickly after pressing. Old oak is the only vessel used in their cellar and some of their barrels and foudres are over 80 years old. Each wine is topped up in barrel during the first year but because their cellars are so cold and damp, they top them up only once. This slow oxidation produces incredibly compelling wines.
These wines should be opened in advance but do not require decanting. According to Jean Francois, a slow oxidation is the best way to enjoy these wines. Once opened, the wines will remain fresh for weeks. Francois insists that his still wines do not belong in a fridge. The Bourdys are also known for their wine library and cellar program which has wines from almost every vintage back to 1781. These wines are available, please enquire if you are interested.
Cremant Du Jura:
100% Chardonnay made in the Champagne method. Bright and crisp, mineral and green fruited. A quaffer!
Cote Du Jura Rouge:
A field blend of Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir aged for 4 years in barrel without being topped up before bottling. A delicate and light wine with beautiful floral and red fruited tones.
Cote Du Jura Blanc:
100% Chardonnay aged for 4 years in barrel without being topped up before bottling. Oxidative in style but with incredible freshness and acidity.
Cote Du Jura Blanc Savagnin:
100% Savagnin aged for 4 years in barrel without being topped up before bottling. This is a “baby Vin Jaune” according to Jean Francois. Powerful aromatics and richness.
100% Savagnin aged for 7 years in barrel under a veil of yeast called “flor”. It’s very difficult to express the power and grace of the Bourdy’s Vin Jaunes in words. These are some of the most age-worthy wines on earth and demand attention at the table. Bright and nutty with incredible freshness and acidity, these are big wines that should be drunk at the table.
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