Renaud Bruyère and Adeline Houillon
Renaud Bruyère and Adeline Houillon are young winemakers from the Jura who produce a beautiful, light, ethereal Ploussard and a lovely blended, topped-up white wine made from Chardonnay and Savagnin.
They are a very small producer with only 4.5 hectares of low-yielding vines, so their production is tiny. We are very lucky to have been included in their allocation this year!
Their vineyards for the red wine are near the tiny village of Pupillin which sits on the hills above the main town of Arbois. When you drive into this village you see a sign proclaiming it as the "World Capital of Ploussard".
Renaud Bruyere and Adeline Houillon Arbois Pupillin Ploussard 2014
Reynaud and Adeline have, once again, produced a beautiful, light, elegant red wine from the local Ploussard grape variety. The Ploussard benefits from the Triassic clay in which the vines thrive. Much of their production is sold in two local bars, namely Bistrot des Claquets (where we can always be found when we are in the area) and Les Jardins de St-Vincent. In both of these places locals and visiting Jura afficionados seek out this wine for its purity and finesse.
We find the back label (contra-etiquette) on each of the wines from Bruyère and Houillon very informative. As you can see the label is in French but it is relatively easy to get a sense of what they are saying.
They start by saying that the vines are managed biodynamically and that the terroir is "argileux du Trias" which is Triassic era clay. The grapes are picked by hand (vendange manuelle) and the grapes are separated from the bunches using a screen that they rub the bunches on (criable). The grapes then undergo a type of carbonic maceration where enzymes in the grape are responsible for fermentation of the sugars inside the grape. As the grapes break down, normal alcoholic fermentation begins via the yeasts on the grapes and this occurs in a tank for 30 days.
The term "cuvaison" refers to leaving the skins and pips in contact with the juice so that the anthocyanins which provide the colour are extracted from the skin.
The wine is bottled without any filtration and without the addition of any sulphites. The last sentence points out that some carbon dioxide may remain in the bottle as it is a natural preservative that they encourage.
RRP: SOLD OUT
Renaud Bruyere and Adeline Houillon Arbois Blanc Les Tourillons 2014
The Les Tourillons vineyard was the first that was aquired by Adeline and Renaud. It is one of the highest vineyards in the area (although tiny at only .75 hectares) and has clay and limestone soils and good exposure. This wine sees a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Savagnin which is matured in old wooden barrels which are kept topped up to retain their freshness. This is an outstanding example of the 'new' Jura wines being produced in the area.
The back label refers to some of the information provided above. The words argilo-calcaire refers to the calcareous clay where the clay has been derived from limestone. The term ouillé is often used in the Jura these days and means "topped up". White wines are treated in two different ways in the Jura. With some wines the juice is stored in old wooden barrels and some evaporates through the pores of the barrel. As the level of the wine goes down the wine becomes slightly oxidative. This wine has been topped up from time to time to ensure that there is only minimal contact with oxygen to preserve the freshness of the wine. As with the Ploussard the wine has been bottled (mis en bouteille) without filtration or added sulphites out of respect for the fact that it is a "living" wine.