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Les Clos des Grives, “Musicienne” ChardonnayCôtes du Jura, Jura, France 2017 (750mL)

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Les Clos des Grives, “Musicienne” Chardonnay Côtes du Jura, Jura, France 2017 (750mL)

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If you think of France’s Jura region as chiefly a cabinet of curiosities—those Sherry-like whites, the pale reds—it’s time to reassess. Today’s wine serves those purposes perfectly, proving once again that the Jura is a top-flight Chardonnay terroir that stands toe-to-toe with Burgundy. After all, they’re only about an hour from each other!


Les Clos des Grives' 2017 “Musicienne” is transparently “Jurassic” but not in any weird way: It’s mineral, fresh, and precise, with a restrained shading of Jura’s signature wildness. It outperforms many similarly priced bottles of Burgundy (not something I say lightly), and if it’s pedigree you’re after, it’s also got you covered—Les Clos des Grives was the very first Jura property to obtain organic certification, over a half-century ago. The Jura’s identity may still be tied to idiosyncratic, rustic wines, but its future lies in chiseled, detailed bottles like this. We’re not the only ones making that bet, with living Burgundy legend Marquis d’Angerville and wunderkind David Croix both starting projects here in recent years. There will soon be a day when Jura bottles also become stratospherically priced, and “Musicienne” makes clear the hype is justified. Ever wish you could’ve stocked up on white Burgundy when the prices were more reasonable? Now’s your chance to get in on the ground floor!



Order a bottle of Jura Chardonnay on a restaurant wine list and, despite the two regions' close proximity, it may well be worlds away from a bottle of white Burgundy. That’s because traditional white winemaking here typically involves leaving barrels “un-topped.” This exposure to oxygen makes for something nutty, honeyed, often with a kiss of volatile funk. A few producers, however, have made ouillé, or “topped up,” wines their calling card. When barrels of white wine are topped regularly, as they are most everywhere else in the world, the resulting wine is brilliant, detailed, and thrumming with a salty minerality, while still carrying that Jura breadth. Whereas in the past many producers offered one or two ouillé wines to appease exporters, more and more winemakers are betting on them as the key to Jura’s future. Whether it’s Chablis, Meursault, or even new wave California Chard that gets you going, these more mainstream Jura whites demand your attention.


The tiny Jura, sandwiched between Burgundy to the west and the Swiss Alps to the east, is now a Mecca of biodynamic and organic viticulture, but that wouldn’t be the case were it not for Les Clos des Grives. This estate, founded in 1962 by Gaston Charbonnier, was Certified Organic in 1968. Since then, it’s changed hands a few times, but the organic certification has been consistent, and with vines now averaging over 50 years old, it’s become some of the most prized land in the region. 


Relatively unknown outside of the Jura, Les Clos des Grives is poised to become a household name. In 2017, it was purchased by Benoit Mulin, a banker-turned-winemaker who made his name in the region working alongside Stéphane Tissot—and if there’s one producer who proved the potential of the ouillé style, it’s Tissot. It was a bottle of his Chardonnay that convinced d’Angerville of the region’s potential, and Tissot wines are now favorably compared to none other than Burgundy’s culty Coche-Dury. Mulin began a négociant business with Tissot in 2009 and has now struck out on his own, albeit not very far: Les Clos des Grives is right next to the Tissot property. Today’s offer represents his inaugural vintage: Fermentation occurred spontaneously and 80% of the wine matured in French barrels (2% new) with the other 20% maturing in stainless steel. After one year, the wine was bottled without filtering. 


Treat Les Clos des Grives' 2017 “Musicienne” as you would a bottle of great white Burgundy: serve chilled but not too cold, in bulbous stems. It pours a vivid straw with hints of gold, and the nose is something like Chassagne on overdrive: creamed apple, bosc pear, pulverized oyster shells, hazelnuts, almond skin, a whiff of warm baking spice. The palate is dense and compact, with medium-plus acidity and a faintly creamy finish. 2017 is about savor and minerality in white Burg, and that’s the case here too: the palate is loaded with salty rocks, nutty green apple, and some dried citrus peel. There’s a sense of warmth and a touch of wildness here that lets you know it’s the Jura, but it never overwhelms. Cheeses like Morbier and Comté are signatures of the Jura, and this would be phenomenal with either, or alongside a hearty gratin of your favorite vegetables. Grab this while you can—a $36 bottle of great Jura Chardonnay will soon be a thing of the past!




Les Clos des Grives, “Musicienne” Chardonnay Côtes du Jura, Jura, France 2017 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionJura
  • Sub-RegionCôtes du Jura
  • SoilClay-Limestone
  • FarmingCertified Organic
  • BlendChardonnay
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • OakMostly in French Barrels, 2% New
  • Service Temp.50° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stem
  • DrinkNow-2027
  • Decanting15 Minutes
  • PairingRoot Vegetable Gratin

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionJura
  • Sub-RegionCôtes du Jura
  • SoilClay-Limestone
  • FarmingCertified Organic
  • BlendChardonnay
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • OakMostly in French Barrels, 2% New
  • Temp.Serve at 50° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2027
  • Decanting15 Minutes
  • PairingRoot Vegetable Gratin