2013 Jean Francois Ganevat Le Montceau Chardonnay, 750ml

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From the importer's mouth (VOS):

No computer but a fax machine... Jean-Francois Ganevat is looking back to move forward. Like many of the world’s best vignerons, he has re- discovered techniques and grape varieties from the past to make cutting edge wines. After training in Beaune and 9 years as the Maitre de Chai at Jean-Marc Morey in Chassagne-Montrachet, "Fan-Fan", as he is known, returned to make wines at his family domain in 1998, the 14th generation of his family to do so since 1650. His objective was to make wines in Jura with the same philosophy as the best wines of Burgundy.

He was fortunate that his father had preserved the ancient, yet outlawed, Jura varieties including Petit Béclan, Gros Béclan, Gueuche (white and red), Seyve-Villard, Corbeau, Portugais Bleu, Enfariné, Argant, Poulsard Blanc. Ganevat finds these varieties interesting because they are easily drinkable with a low alcohol content. They are all inter-planted, like in other ancient vineyard sites across France. Ganevat doesn’t like talking too much about these illegal varieties because of the AOC rules, but since he is moving to de-classify all of his wines as Vin de Table, this won’t be an issue in the future.

In 1999 Ganevat converted his property to Biodynamic viticulture and in 2006 he completely eliminated the use of sulfur (except for a touch in the Florine and Billat). His crew destems the bunches by hand with a reed tool then the vinification and elevage takes place in tronconic demi-muids (500 liter casks); there is no new oak in his cellar. He only uses indigenous yeasts for the fermentation which lasts a few weeks. The wines is then left for a month plus before it is racked off its lees back into the same cleaned vats. The white wines get a minimum of 2 years of elevage and the reds one year.

Jean-François and his sidekick, a Weimaraner named Schiste, can be found in the sleepy hamlet of La Combe, below the main village of Rotalier. From his modest 8.5 acres of vines -all owned, except one hectare rented, he makes numerous cuvees (up to 40) to capture the various terroir, grape varieties and winemaking styles that he feels represent the best of the Jura. The goal of his approach is purity of fruit expression yielded by the terroir. Ganevat’s wines are generous and powerfully expressive, at once accessible and profound.

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