France – Jura
The Tissot family produces a very large range of ‘small batch-single site’ wines. The winemaker Stéphane is infectiously passionate and enthusiastic, intense, intelligent and also charismatic. Tissot is a talented and individualistic producer. Their savagnin and reds are always planted on clay for increased acidity. Chardonnay is planted on both clay and limestone, and is fermented with wild yeast and made in a very reductive way with a lot of the yeast lees. All vineyards are strictly biodynamic and the yields are kept very low.
Tissot Patchwork Chardonnay 2016
“There’s some width and depth to this release but it still holds all of its blistering freshness intact. Scents of roast almond, sea breeze, ripe citrus, faint jasmine and a touch of stone fruit. It sits in the palate with this light saltiness and mouthwatering vitality, rolls on sleek texture through its just shy of medium weight concentration, fruit laden with nuttiness, finishes with a starburst of crunchy grapefruity tang and flinty mineral character. It’s got so much flavour and character. It’s delicious.” – 94 Points Mike Bennie, WineFront.com.au
Tissot Vieilles Vignes Poulsard 2016
“This is top of tree stuff from poulsard and Jura. Gravelly texture and savouriness define the wine, but there’s freshness underlying to counter and raise drinkability (through the roof!). It’s light bodied, sour cherry spectrum in scents and flavours, but no escaping the ‘autumn’ feel to the wine in dried leaves, undergrowth, game meat and dried rose hips. The palate has some grunt (and structure), despite the feather weight vibe, with tannins swirling and crunching from early through to its long finish. Time open and the wine gets a touch extra fruitiness too. It’s such a pleasing wine to enjoy, slowly, yet the urge to keep on your glass is there.” – 94 Points Mike Bennie, WineFront.com.au
Tissot Cremant du Jura Extra Brut NV
“I believe from the 2016 disgorgement, if I do my maths right. Stephane Tissot is a leading light of Jura, where methode traditionelle wines have been made for an eon. This, however, diverts off the path a bit, a blend of 50% chardonnay, 40% pinot noir, 5% poulsard and 5% trousseau – best of Jura stuff, including keeping the marquee grape of savagnin out of the way here. It’s a zero dosage wine too. All of Tissot’s farming is biodynamic. Outstanding wines have emerged over the past decade or so.This is a wicked fizzy drink. All the class of upmarket, fancy sparkling from that region northwest of Jura. It’s got rich perfume of brioche, honeycomb, sea spray, red fruits and citrus. The palate prickles with bristling bubbles, shows cut of just-ripe green apply acidity, offers ripe citrus and a crunch of honeycomb. Some oxidative notes chime in for interest, toasty, mealy, nutty. There’s lots going on, but most of all the drinkability is through the roof. Unreal.” – 94 Points Mike Bennie, WineFront.com.au
VIN DE PAILLE 375ml
A blend of 40% savagnin and poulsard with 20% chardonnay. Opulent, intially sweetened flavours of honey, tropical fruit and vanilla are guided seamlessly into a textural mid palate. Tissot’s signature line of acid is tight, yet never firm. This strings the flavours harmoniously through to the lemon and orange rind based finale, finishing in an amalgam of flavour, concentration and focus.
CHARDONNAY ‘LES BRUYERES’
A small 0.95 ha plot of clay soil of the Trias era (clay topsoil on a subsoil of blue marl). The bunches go into small buckets followed by pressing and immediate filling of barrels. Natural ferment occurs slowly and can last up to 2 years. 1/3 new oak and no racking and no sugar added, 14.5% alc.
CHARDONNAY ‘EN BARBERON’ The ‘En Barberon’ vineyard within the Côtes du Jura (wedged betwenn the AOC’s of Arbois and l’Etoile) is planted to both chardonnay and pinot noir with a high clay content within the soil profile. This provides the ingredients for a more generous, rounded chardonnay with expression of flavour seen as being as important as structural elements (reduction is less evident).
CHARDONNAY ‘CLOS DE LA TOUR DE CURON’
A small vineyard of .75 ha that only yields 1.5 tonne per. The elevage is essentially the same as the wine above but the outcome is very different. Deep and intense, there is a kaleidoscope of roasted nuts, citrus, stone-fruit, warm bread and mealy flavours with almost unfathomable length.
70% chardonnay and 30% savagnin is barrel fermented and constantly topped for 9 months; then the wine is aged for 15 months ‘under the veil’ without topping. Nutty and rich with a melange of grilled nuts, orange peel, curry leaves, lemon and floral notes; there is plenty of complexity here finishing with a refreshing citrus and salty sea-breeze tang.
Savagnin and traminer are essentially two of the same. To differentiate between the two, Stéphane makes this in a ‘fresh’ style [steel tank, no oxidation] showing a different side to Jura’s famous grape. Vibrantly fresh and crunchy, this shows good mid-palate weight and plenty of zip to back it up.
Aged for 6 months with constant topping of the barrels, followed by 2 ½ years under the voile. This is a great version of the classic Jurassic! Curry leaves, celery, vinousity, citrus flavours and great complexity.
POULSARD V.V. (NO SO2)
This is as natural a wine as is possible to make! The vines were planted between 1942 and 1972. It is fresh, has nuances of strawberry, spices and cherry, and is nicely structured with silky tannins for a ‘lighter’ style red.
This wine was fermented in open wood vats and macerated for 6 weeks! Then matured in 600lt barrels. It is the deepest and richest trousseau you are likely to find, having more in common with a pinot, yet it still retains its Jurasian origin.
PINOT NOIR ‘EN BARBERON’
100% stems and very Burgundian. This is an amazing single site pinot, quite firm and rich. It’s a little sappy and shows a little stem character, but it is opulent and balanced.
VIN JAUNE ‘CLASSIQUE’ (blended vineyards)
VIN JAUNE ‘EN SPOIS’ (single vineyard)
From clay soils (which are not as rich or dense as those of Les Bruyeres) with blue marl and limestone, this is Stephane’s most expressive and elegant Vin Jaune. The high elevated, En Spois vineyard lends itself to producing some of the more textural and nuanced expressions of savagnin where the flavours of curry leaf, unroasted nuts and lemon curd are reserved yet perfectly balanced against Tissot’s signature tight acids and the ‘salty tang’ voile influence.
VIN JAUNE ‘LES BRUYÈRES’ (single vineyard)
Hailing from an incredible vineyard of dense clay dominant soil, this is Setphane’s most powerful and complex wine. Where the ‘En Spois’ focusses on elegance and texture, the Bruyères drives towards ageability, weight, strength, and above all else, complexity and range of flavours, again all in perfect balance