It’s hardly surprising that the Jura, home to some of the most fascinating and unusual white wines in France, should also make unique, intriguing bubblies. Ludwig Bindernagel and Nathalie Eigenstock belong to the genus of vigneron drawn to the vines by an overwhelming passion for winemaking rather than generations of forebears. Priced out of Burgundy, they found the same sense of place and small-domaine sensibility in the Jura. Establishing their vineyard in 2003, they now farm five acres of old vines organically, and are working toward biodynamic certification. Concentrating on vineyard work (where all good wine is made), they prune and harvest by hand, strictly limiting their yields.
Their Crémant is made in the Champagne (aka Traditionelle, or Ancéstrale) method out of a majority of Chardonnay, with Savagnin and Pinot Noir. Given no sugar in the dosage, the shot of yeast used to fuel the secondary (i.e. bubble-making) fermentation, it’s an intense, concentrated bubbly with sandstone minerality and lively acidity underlying layers of dried apple, pear, and nectarine fruit. Both lean and full in the mouth as the fruit, acidity, and minerality revolve in their complex dance, it shows hazelnut and apricot notes with hints of baking spice. Clean and long on the finish, it’s the most original sparkler in the shop.
Pairing: Pan Seared Red Snapper, Red Mullet
TYPE: Sparkling White
VARIETY: 70% CHARDONNAY, 20% SAVAGNIN, 10% PINOT NOIR
SPECIALTY: ORGANIC, SUGAR 1G/L
REGION: Crémant du Jura, Jura, FRANCE