There’s nothing primitive about this Jurassique. In fact, we’d say that Domaine de la Renardière’s scintillating chardonnay is ahead of its time. That’s because, since 2010, winemaker Jean-Michel Petit has been farming all 7.5 of his Bourgogne-based acres using organic and biodynamic principles. And his environmentally-minded, eco-friendly understanding of the terroir really shows.
This is a wine created using grapes from 20-year-old vines, rooted in limestone soils. It’s then been fermented and aged in old barrels — continuously topped up — to build a fresh, distinctive flavour profile and a wine characteristic of the fragrant Jura family. Let’s uncork and have a taste…
On the eyes: Pale. Very pale, in fact. It’s a mild straw colour, and looks like it’s been spun from liquid gold. There’s a greenish shade to Domaine de la Renardière’s chardonnay in the right light, and a slight cider-like cloudiness. It looks less like it’s the product of grapevines, but rather something freshly pressed in a sun-soaked orchard. Either way, it looks inviting.
On the nose: If you thought it looked perfect for spring, just wait until you take a whiff. Natural, fresh and with a fragile acidity running through it, the Jurassique 2016 blossoms with blooming, floral aromas. If you’d glimpsed the orchard above, you’re well into it now — wandering headily through the fruit-heavy trees. Go in for a second sniff and you’ll appreciate subtler petal fragrances, and even a hint of candied, dessert-like sweetness.
On the palate: Strangely, it tastes almost exactly how it smells. There’s the welcome addition of elderflower notes, and perhaps slightly fewer petals than there were on the nose. If the smell was the crisp outside of the apple, then taking a sip is like biting into the centre of the fruit — with softer, richer and fleshier flavours having time to mature and macerate in your mouth.
On the finish: And the finish? Unobtrusive. It’s an unctuously soft end, melting away in your mouth. Once more, it brings to mind apples or pears — with that candied sweetness we smelt earlier making a return. The bite of the fruit has dissipated, and the flavours are subtler; almost poached. It’s a moreish end to a dewy, springtime wine — and the perfect well-rounded white to begin the transition away from your winter reds.
Looking for more wine picks? Check out this Domaine FL Savennières Chamboureau 2016…
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