Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wine of the Week - Jurassic Pinot from Philippe Bornard

I made the simplest of summer vegetable soups, mostly with my 2.5 year old daughter in mind. Home made vegetable stock with shell beans, summer squash, scallions, garlic, potatoes, and carrots. Not a whole lot else. Some crusty bread with thin slices of Comte, under the broiler for a few minutes - dinner.

You ever have days where the best thing that happens at work is when you think about the various wines you might open with dinner? It wasn't even noon when I understood that I would be opening a Jura Chardonnay or Savagnin made in the under-the-veil style. And I was excited. So who knows how and why I changed gears as I prepped vegetables for the soup. I stayed in the Jura, but went with a red wine, and although I imagine that the synergy between our dinner and veiled Savagnin or Chardonnay would have been better than it was with the wine we drank, the wine we drank was superb.

The 2005 Philippe Bornard Arbois Pupillin Pinot Noir L'Aide Mémoire, $30, Savio Soares Selections, is an entirely different Pinot Noir, if you're used to the wines of Burgundy. There is little to no earth, no funkiness at all. This wine, to me, is defined by its incredible savoury character. When a wine is this savoury, I spell savoury with a "u." It's amazing, really, the umami quotient in this wine - I bet it is equal to a clam, dried seaweed, or a dried mushroom. In fact, this wine smells like a perfect blend of sweet dark cherry fruit, granite, and the water left over when you reconstitute dried mushrooms. It is a deeply complex and fascinating nose, and entirely lovely too, lest you think that mushroom water is not a positive thing. The fruit is more prominent on the palate, and it is intense and concentrated without being the least bit clunky - the alcohol is only 12.5%. But even after several hours open, the finish is long and very savoury, umami notes dancing on a sweet cherry floor. I think this wine is just fantastic.

The thing is, I don't really know anything about this wine, or about Annie et Philippe Bornard. There's just nothing out there on the interweb. I don't typically write about producers when I know this little about them, but this wine is just too good to drink and then keep to myself. I don't know the size of the estate, how they farm or harvest, what they do in the cellar, or anything about the specific site where the grapes are grown for this wine. If anyone reading this knows something, please share in the comments (that means you too Savio, Ariel, and Mike). I can tell you this, though - if you like Jura wines you should try this one, and if you like Pinot Noir and don't know Jura wine, you should try this one. I think it would work with a wide array of food, from Sushi to raw oysters or clams to veal cooked with mushrooms and herbs to Comte cheese.


fillay said...

There is this, from the 2008 harvest - a little bit of cinema verité.

gcarl said...

Perhaps you bought this at Fermented Grapes in Brooklyn. Winesearcher Pro shows
them stocking 2006 Bornard Trousseau Arbois Pupillin Le Ginglet, and it is
Union Square Wine and Spirits has the 2006 Domaine Annie et Philippe Bornard -
Arbois Pupillin Trousseau Le Ginglet, 2006.
Vestry Wines has the Annie et Philippe Bornard, Les Chassagnes Savagnin, 2005.

Alas, this producer only seems to be available in your NY market. Your
description has my interest piqued, so should you find it again, perhaps you can
let me know where I might order some for fall delivery to FL.

Sophieb. said...

My boyfriend and I visited Philippe Bornard last month. Sadly, he and Annie are no longer together. Philippe lives at the top of Pupillin and farms about six hectares, which he inherited from his father. He came to winemaking only about five years ago; before that he was a musician. His recent arrival on the Jura winemaking scene partially explains why there's no Vin Jaune to be had- his Vin Jaune is still in cask right now. He falls in the "natural" wine camp, using very low sulfur- just enough to ensure that the wine he exports makes it abroad safely. I believe he's practicing organic but not certified. I hate to plug my place of employment- but you can purchase many of the wines- though not the Pinot Noir- at Astor Wines and Spirits in New York.

Martin said...

enjoyed your recent postings on Jura wines! a couple personal favorite producers of mine are:
Dom. de la Tournelle
Jean-Pascal Buronfosse
both available in the US


Alex Halberstadt said...

Soup, especially a bouillon-y one like one you describe, is one of those dishes that always hamstring me at dinner. I never know what to drink with it. Red, white, sherry? Something savoury with a "u"? Appreciate your sage advice.

Brooklynguy said...

thanks fillay, that is indeed cinema verité.

@ gcarl - apparently no one currently has it on the shelves, i'm embarrassed to say. but no worries, I hear that several are considering picking it up. check back in a week or two. shipping is legal from NY to florida, so it shouldn't be a problem.

hey Sophie - thanks for your informative comments. now, will you carry the Pinot too? please?

@ Martin - thanks for your kind words, and for the Jura suggestions.

@ alex - funny, i always feel like i can't go wrong with soups like this. anything works. thanks for stopping by.

Unknown said...

Hello - Mike here w/ Savio -

Great post! This is a lovely wine indeed. I'll do my best to sell some to a retail shop today! When I have sold some, I will put up a post on where it could be found.

Watch this space!


Unknown said...

But yes, to confirm - this wine is not in any shops yet, but will be this week....

Unknown said...

Slope Cellars has Melon and Trousseau from Bornard, as well as maybe a bottle (if your lucky) of Sparkling Ploussard rose!

Thirst Wine Merchants should have some Trousseau, Ploussard, Chardonnay, and Savaginin!!

Windsor Wines and Smith and Vine also stock Bornard wines.

Unknown said...

On Tuesday, September 1st, Astor will have Philippe Bornard's Pinot... I just tasted it for the first time and was delighted to find it every bit as lovely as you described, Brooklynguy.