Jean Rijckaert Arbois Chardonnay 2015
The Maison Rijckaert was created in 1998 by Jean Rijckaert, a passionate Belgian established as wine producer in Burgundy since 1990. In addition to 4 hectares in South Burgundy, the Domaine RIJCKAERT cultivates 5,5 ha of vineyards in the JURA, where Jean fell in love with these outstanding terroirs! Thus, they have two cellars: one at Davayé (South Burgundy, near Macon), one at Les Planches, near Arbois in the Jura. The Maison RIJCKAERT also purchases fine grapes, which are vinificated with the same precision and care than its own vineyards. Jean met his alter ego, Florent Rouve, in 2013, to whom he has gradually passed down his activities and above all his great savoir-faire.
They share a same vision of winemaking: restricted yields, handpicked harvest, slow and moderate pressings, indigenous yeasts, long aging into barrels, and...some precious secrets! A careful and natural winemaking, which aims to express the typicality of the grape and to highlight the specificity of the terroir where it comes from.
On the foothills of the Jura Mountains, just east of the Cote de Beaune on the Switzerland border, the Jura wine-producing zone is recognized for its unique reds, as well as its particular and diverse styles of whites.
Though borrowed from their neighbor Burgundy, Chardonnay and Pinot noir have been growing in Jura since the Middle Ages. But here the altitude, topography, climate and clay-rich, marl soils support a different style of Pinot noir, not to mention its other deeply-colored, full-bodied indigenous reds, Poulsard and Trousseau.
Considering area under vine, growers here favor Chardonnay for its consistency and reliability; it comprises almost half of Jura's vineyard acreage. However, Jura Chardonnay is anything but boring; its many offbeat styles are part of what make region’s wines so distinctive. It is used for Cremant (sparkling), Macvin (a fortified wine), as well as fine examples at the quality level of Burgundy.
Jura also has a unique oxidative style for Chardonnay but is better recognized for its similarly-styled “vin jaune,” meaning ‘yellow wine,’ which is made from the indigenous variety, Savagnin. Vin jaune is made using techniques similar to those used to make Sherry.
For all of its wines, Jura favors a traditional, natural and often organic style in viticulture and winemaking.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.