Michel Gahier Arbois Melon La Fauquette 2018

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'The grapes are sourced from the La Fauquette vineyard close to Michel’s house. This is a ‘sous voile’ wine made from the mutant grape found only in the Jura called Melon à Queue Rouge.

As the name implies, this grape variety is distinctive because the grape has a “red tail” (where the grape bunches connect to the stem). It is likely that this variety is a mutant of Chardonnay and is much beloved by Jura producers despite the difficulty in tending the vines.

The 400-litre barrel in which it matures is not topped up as with the other two white cuvées. Instead, as the wine evaporates through the pores of the barrel a thin veil (voile) of yeast forms on the surface of the wine and this protects the wine from excessive oxidation. The oxygen that does penetrate the veil causes it to develop an exciting nutty spiciness that is incredibly appealing.

The technique that Michel uses is the same as that which is used in the Jura for making the revered Vin Jaune, however, that wine must be made from Savagnin not Melon.

Chambers Street Wines in New York rave about this wine and call it ‘mellow, pretty, exquisitely balanced and very delicious’.  It makes this wine a perfect accompaniment to the great cheeses of the region especially the famous aged Comté.

This wine is now 6 years old but is still as fresh as the day it was bottled and will last for many years to come despite having had no sulphites added at any time. It is drinking beautifully now despite the 13.5% alcohol which is not at all evident.'

- Living Wines

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