2010 Domaine Rolet Arbois Vin Jaune, Jura3361121400023
A bright mid-gold in colour, with apple, lemon, quince and forest mushroom scents. There’s a creamy undertow, and the wine is very clean and spotless. On the palate, it is intense and vivid with more acid drive and thrust to it than many Arbois peers. That insistently taut, tight, apple-lemon fruit suggests this would be better after a two or three-year wait, with plenty of ageing potential in store. Drinking Window 2018 - 2027- Andrew Jefford, Decanter, 93 Points
Region: Arbois, Jura
Vins jaunes can be sold under the following appellations: Côtes du Jura, Arbois, L'Etoile and of course Château-Chalon (which is not a single estate but the name of a village). The wines must be 100% Savagnin.
The Savagnin is harvested late, usually in late October but it can be November. The grapes have to weigh in with a potential alcohol of between 13% and 15%. Not surprisingly therefore vin jaune is not made every year. The wines ferment slowly and then are transferred to 228l barrels of old oak. The barrels are never topped up and the wines become partially protected from oxidation by a thin veil of yeast, called locally 'voile' which is very similar to the flor in sherry. To get the appellation vin jaune, the wine has to remain in barrel for not less than six years and three months by which time only about 62% of the wine is left after evaporation. Appropriately, vin jaune is then bottled in a special tubby bottle called the, clavelin holding 62cl.
Not so long ago, it was quite normal for a grower to discover that several of his barrels had not made it and had turned to vinegar. These days, growers are able to analyse the wines during the élevage for the presence and effectiveness of the voile. The wines that once would have been lost are now bottled as a half-way vins jaunes and usually sold under the name Côtes du Jura Tradition. They are a good deal cheaper to buy and can be extremely good, baby vins jaunes.
Marcel Orford-Williams, The Wine Society