What is yellow wine?
The yellow wine comes only from the Jura vineyard. It is the specificity of its vinification that makes it the most authentic of all wines.
Where does yellow wine come from?
Yellow wine is a protected wine that can only be used in the Jura . Most French winegrowers give it the name of "sailing wine" or "wine of oblivion". As much to specify that only the Jura wine has the favor of benefiting from a controlled designation of origin, namely the coast of Jura, Arbois or Château-Chalon.
Contrary to popular belief, Vin Jaune du Jura is not sweet. It is one of the driest wines in the world! Unlike red and white wines which have several grape varieties, yellow wine has only one: Savagnin .
Also called Fromentin, Savagnin is a very fragrant grape variety, which is part of the Traminer family. In addition to promoting the production of yellow wine , it also makes it possible to produce sweet straw Jura wines such as Arbois, Côte de Jura and Etoile . The yellow wines made from this grape variety are very strong in terms of taste. Containing aromas of nuts, flowers and green apple, these wines will certainly delight the palate of lovers of fine wines.
Belonging to the sailing wine family, yellow wine is a protected appellation and it can only be used for wines produced in the Jura . Note also that not all the wines of this department have this appellation and the production of yellow wine represents only 3.5% of Jura wines . Only the municipalities of Arbois, Côtes-du-Jura, Château-Châlon and Etoile produce it.
Savagnin , which is a local grape variety, is the only one authorized in this production. The commune of Château-Châlon is renowned for its production of Jura wine and it is also dedicated to the exclusive production of this wine.
The breeding of this beverage
The production of the yellow Jura begins with the harvest. After pressing the grapes, comes the time of fermentation . Like many wines, yellow wine is aged in oak barrels where it will remain for exactly 75 months, i.e. 6 years and 3 months .
Yellow wine has the particularity of being vinified according to traditional rules. During its ageing , in the J ura, the yellow wine is not topped up, in other words, we are not going to fill the space that is created under the bunghole with wine. This will allow it to develop a veil of yeast on the surface and the barrel is not filled according to natural evaporation. It is this formed veil that will protect it from complete oxidation and deprive it of contact with the ambient air.
Achieving this result is not always so easy, because with barrels that are several years old, you can neither sulphite nor rack the wine so that the desired veil of yeasts forms. During this breeding then, it can happen that the veil is torn. Yet it is this that is responsible for its organoleptic characteristics so complex.
In doing so, the yellow wine will evolve towards a more aromatic and structured accent. Suffice to say that after such a long fermentation, the sugar level is almost zero. This is why you will often hear about oxidized wine or sailing wine.
When it is well raised, yellow wine can be part of the greatest vintages in the world. Also, its particularity is to be able to be preserved for more than 30 years, and this, without any difficulty.
The origin of this drink
The origin of yellow wine is a mystery. According to a legend, this drink is the result of chance. However, Louis Pasteur is known as the first to have discovered the secret of this mysterious beverage . It was in the 19th century that the latter undertook rigorous studies on the conservation of wines .
A wine lover, he immediately noticed that yellow wine lasted in barrels for many years. It was then that Louis discovered that the veil of yeast gave the wine a strong ability to keep.
Flavors and tasting
To the naked eye, yellow wine, as its name suggests, is golden in color , which is why it is called the Gold of Jura . The yellow wine reveals a very particular intensity and reveals its aromas of fresh nuts and dried fruits. In addition, you will find that it has a floral look.
From the mouth, it reveals a rich and powerful note. It is also expressed through its very balanced structure with aromas of nuts, apple and spice. Just like its breeding, the tasting is done in a particular way. In order to enjoy all its flavors, it is strongly recommended to chamber it beforehand. Ideally, it should be served at temperatures between 15 and 16° .
What to taste with yellow wine?
Yellow wine has a striking power. Most of the time, it hides the flavor of certain meals. However, there are many dishes with which a yellow wine can go very well.
As an aperitif, this wine can be enjoyed very well with trout rillettes or frog legs with morels . You can also serve it as an appetizer to taste a county pie or a chicken quiche . Ham with shallots and coq au vin jaune and morels can also be enjoyed with this beverage.
The breakthrough of yellow wine
After 6 years and 3 months, we celebrate the breakthrough of yellow wine. It is a wine festival that is held every year, more precisely on the first weekend of February. It is one of the first French wine festivals. It takes place in one of the Jura gold-producing villages (Poligny, Arbois, château, Lons-le-Saunier, l'Etoile, etc.).
The aging period is at least 75 months and a great festive ceremony, the breakthrough of the yellow wine, is organized to mark the end of the aging and the marketing . The quiet streets of Jura villages are then lively on the first Saturdays and Sundays of February. Also known as Or du Jura, the wine breakthrough is organized in turn by the producing municipalities.
After this great celebration, the yellow wine is put in a bottle called the clavelin . It is a very specific bottle for this wine and it is only 62 cl. This choice of capacity is on a practical side. It is a bottle used by 18th century merchants that the Jurassians chose, because after aging in a barrel, only about 62 cl will remain for one liter of wine, i.e. the capacity of the clavelin. For the winegrowers, the use of this bottle is a way of avoiding filling up the 13 cl if they use a one-litre bottle.
During the celebration, we witness the piercing. The first wines out of the barrels will be tasted by an exceptional jury before being bottled. The main purpose of this event is to discover and share unforgettable moments of joy. During these festive moments, the winegrowers also have the opportunity to have as many people as possible taste their production. It is also an opportunity to get together to share the specialties of your region.
yellow wine tasting
It is difficult to describe what one has in the mouth when tasting the yellow jura. Tasting this wine, if you have never tasted it, remains a magical experience. He leaves no one indifferent and either we love him or we hate him. Yellow wine is quite a powerful wine and it can go so far as to upset the balance of many dishes, but there are dishes that are in perfect harmony with this wine.
The yellow wine of Jura can be taken with a blue trout, a chicken with morels, a morel crust, a chicken à la comtoise or a dish of foie gras. Cordon-bleu cooks can allow themselves to use this wine in the kitchen by including it in a curry or turmeric-based dish.
It is particularly characterized by sotolon which is an aromatic compound resembling the typical smell of fenugreek. Oenology professionals get lost, because on the aromatic side, yellow wine remains on primary aromas. You can also have several notes in the mouth during tastings such as those of apple, curry, walnut, hazelnut, almond, toast, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, caramel and gingerbread. It requires concentration for a perfect feast for the senses.