This white Côtes de Jura ‘Les Premices’ went really well with our fish last night. Really well. Different and distinct. Great find. Barbara reckoned it was unusually crisp for a Chardonnay. Not wishing to come on the old wine bore, I simply remarked that the Jura wine area is pretty close to Southern Burgundy. I might have added “where crisp chardonnay is not unknown” … but thought better of it.

From the Côte Chalonnaise to, say, Château Chalon, Jura is about an hour … for a French driver. Chateau Chalon wine is very different … and another of those lovely small French Appellations that comprise just the one hillside. It is one of Jura’s idiosyncratic wines; wine of grapes dried on straw anyone? Jura does several idiosyncratic wine regions, each with its own grape varieties, bottles of weird shapes and even sizes…62cl??? Yes, I know why they do that but it’s still bonkers. They leave wine in barrels for years till it tasted like … Sherry? was … unexpected … by me. But explained so persuasively by old Monsieur Bourdy in his musty book-lined study by the fire, that I got really sold on it. Hard to sell it though. Back then in the 70’s. Maybe now?

The Jura region of France

I remember first arriving there in my trusty Transit. I had two new young staff with me on an ‘educational tour’. Money was short so I had to let them pass the night in the van whilst I put up at a nearby Auberge. Cruel? Well, one of those two, Ade, is just about to retire as Managing Director of our US operation, so a few nights sleeping on a bed of wine boxes seems to have done no lasting harm.

Ade and I were on our Board through the 90’s/00’s as the ‘wine people’. Our colleague, the ‘computers person’ was a super competent guy called Phillip who married a Jura girl, then upped and retired there. Heard nothing since. Phillip? Are you still there? Allo, Allo. Can we come and stay?

This fine Jura estate was founded in 174

Enough rambling … Les Premices is a lovely alternative to white Burgundy.

About Tony Laithwaite

Tony Laithwaite, founder of Laithwaite's, whose passion for wine is still going strong!

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