Bruyére-Houillon - Les Nouvelles 2016

We drink a bottle of Chardonnay Les Nouvelles 2016 of Bruyére-Houillon from the Jura.

After four weeks of Pinot Blanc, we add another bottle of a white Burgundy variety and drink a Chardonnay from the Jura from the Bruyére-Houillon winery. We don’t need to beat around the bush. Those who want to repurchase the bottle will have some difficulties. The bottles with the memorable moon label are not that easy to come by. That is one reason why I thought long about writing about it. Very briefly, I also thought about just selling the bottle. I had the luck to buy the bottle at the dealer when they were sold out only after 5 minutes. Meanwhile they are usually gone faster than I can even click through the store and I count myself as one of the faster clickers on this planet. If they show up at all in a store somewhere. The bottle cost me 39 euros. A lot of money for a bottle of wine and yet far from what is paid on the secondary market. But if I want to speculate, I can buy warrants. I put wine in my cellar to drink and I want to stick to that. I also feel that I run across bottles more often when they change hands and less often in the glass. So drinking and writing about it, it is.

Adeline Houillon and Renaud Bruyére make wine on about 6 hectares in the Jura. The winery is not that old, with the first vintage only being pressed in 2007. They farm their vines organically, and after hand-harvesting, of course, they ferment spontaneously. The grapes for today’s wine come from the Les Nouvelles vineyard, which lies to the north of the village of Mesnay in the immediate vicinity of Arbois. The Chardonnay stands there on Lias with limestone and clay portions. The wine is made ouillé, so not oxidatively, and then bottled unfined, unfiltered and without additional sulfur.

The nose is slightly nutty, herbal and cool. Somehow it also reminds me a bit of dry rice cakes. There is also the slight bite that wines from the Jura so often have, even if they have not themselves been aged under a layer of flor yeast. The aroma is dense, intense, stony and so almost devoid of fruit right after opening. Perhaps a bit of quince. The acidity has tremendous pull on the tongue. This really pulls, has grip and lots of power and tickles up to the palate. And despite all the power and intensity, the wine feels very elegant and fine. And it really lingers on the tongue for a long time and even longer in the empty glass. This does not want to give up the aroma at all.

Even after a night in the bottle, the aroma is an intense experience. There’s a bit of curry powder, onward the rice cake, some ripe apple, lemon and a bit of sticking plaster or iodine. Reminds me of Talisker, just without the smoke. The wine seems much saltier on the tongue than it did on the first night. Would actually fit the rugged landscape on Skye quite well. The acidity of course continues to have plenty of power and packs a punch. The wine needs attention and every day, even if it were easier to acquire, I wouldn’t want to drink this. But at this exact moment, it’s hard to beat. With even more air, fruit does come in, but neither of us can place it directly. But the minimal sweetness fits well between all the saltiness and the intense nose.

I like Chardonnay from the Jura already very much and this one especially. I do not even want to think about how much of this is the wine and how much influence the knowledge of which wine is in the glass. In the end, you always have a bit of story in the glass as well and somehow that also makes up part of the experience. If the chance arose, I would definitely try to click fast enough again. And if I am too slow, then I have already had Jura Chardonnay here on the blog, which is much easier to get and also a lot of fun.

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