Domaine de Montbourgeau L'Etoile Savagnin 2017

  • RP92
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2017 L'Etoile Savagnin is muted and not very expressive when poured from the bottle. It was produced with grapes from two plots on gray and blue marl soils, and it fermented in stainless steel and aged in 228-liter oak barrels that were initially full but never topped up. The effect of the flor is, however, quite mild this year; it's smoky more than spicy and has an ashy touch. The palate feels more expressive and pungent, dry and balanced but without the clout and complexity of the great vintages.
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Domaine de Montbourgeau

Domaine de Montbourgeau

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Domaine de Montbourgeau, France
Domaine de Montbourgeau has produced traditional Jura wines since Victor Gros, the grandfather of current Vigneronne, Nicole Deriaux, first planted the estate’s vineyards in 1920. Nicole’s father, Jean Gros, was responsible for expanding the domaine once he acceded to the head of the family in 1956. Thirty years later (1986) Nicole joined her father and she now is fully responsible for the operation of the domaine. Her three sons are waiting in the wings! The estate is located in the village of L’Etoile in the southwestern zone of the Jura. The origin of the name “L’Etoile” (meaning “star”) is attributed to either the fact that there are five hills surrounding the village in the pattern of a star or, more probably, because of the numerous specimens of the fossils of ancient starfish that are found to this day in the soils of this appellation. The appellation itself is very small, including only 52 hectares, principally in the village of L’Etoile but also with certain vineyards in the neighboring villages of Planoiseau, Saint Didier and Qunitigny. The domaine’s nine hectares are devoted mostly to Chardonnay with Savagnin sited in 1.7 of those hectares; some Trousseau and Poulsard round out the plantings. The viticulture is organic and the vinification is strictly traditional respecting, in all aspects, the ancient practices of this region. Nicole Deriaux’s natural approach to every step of the process captures the true essence of the Etoile appellation in each of the separate bottlings done at the domaine. All grapes are hand-harvested and vinified in the cellars underneath the family home, which is surrounded by the picturesque mountaintops of the Jura. Fermentation occurs in stainless steel cuves but all wines are then racked into a combination of foudres, demi-muids and smaller barrels, virtually none of which are new. The white wines are aged in barrel; they are never racked; they are not topped off. The very special nature of the appellation of L’Etoile produces white wines of exceptional finesse and complexity.
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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.

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An ancient and genetically valuable vine variety with origins in NE France, Savagnin is a parent to many modern varieties but is most associated today with the Jura. It is responsible for a few styles of wine, the idiosyncratic Vin Jaune, a wine matured in barrel under a film of flor yeast and the sweet, concentrated Vin de Paille. Savagnin also makes a charming sparkling or still wine and is often found in blends with Chardonnay. Somm Secret—While Savagnin is an off-spring of Pinot, Savagnin is a parent of Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltiner, Sauvignon Blanc, Silvaner and Trousseau.

RWMROS075031345_2017 Item# 1182596

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