Posted by: tomciocco | June 13, 2011

ACCOMPLISHED NEIGHBORS SHELTER THE JURA

Burgundy is just a little ways to the west, Alsace lies to the north, and the Gallic culinary capitol Lyon sits just a short stretch to the south. Pretty tony neighborhood…and if you direct your attention immediately east, there is the industrious but particular and even hermetic oenological tradition of Francophone Switzerland. In the calm center of all this splash and blare is the Jura.

The Jura is a rugged, somewhat harsh region comprising a pre-Alpine march land whose manifest insularity is clearly reflected in its vineyard populations. This wine we drank here was made entirely from the thoroughly endemic Trousseau variety (another red variety called Plousard or Poulsard, and a peculiar white called Savignin can also be found only in the Jura), that are known to yield results that are barely deeply colored enough to be called “red” by many a drinker, but that rarely if ever under-deliver in terms of  presenting an intense and truly unique glass of wine.  

The cuisine of the Jura is known primarily for highly seasoned sausages and pungent cheeses that decidedly suggest meals better suited to the chillier months, so in my inability to turn up any recipes that were authentically Juran and not involving thick soups or rotisserie meats, I constructed a menu that was Juran in spirit and content, but with the idea of just matching the grub to the glug as the paramount principle. So when all else fails “crostini”- in this case, toasts topped with a hash of smoked salmon, creme fraiche, capers, chives, and dill. The  main course were thin, floured and dark-fried beef cutlets with a mushroom/thyme/mint duxelles, and what are like the last of the Jersey asparagus (no pic.) for the season (sniff).

Domaine Grand Cotes du Jura Trousseau 2009

Lovely, slightly onion-skinned transparent medium ruby color. The nose is exotic, odd, and ethereal, with vivid aromas of watermelon, cherry, meat juices, toasted peanuts, candied fennel, pollen and a pleasant weediness. The body is lightish but very intense and smooth with neat and relaxed flavors of spiced fruit punch, rosewater, and a creamy, malty strawberry cluster that is balanced by tart cranberry notes and Darjeeling tea-like short but sharp tannins. The clean finish is less about palate sensation or texture than it is about a very prominent spicy/floral nasal persistence. An exotic, svelte, and sexy wine.

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