The Jura is one of the worlds most dynamic wine regions. There are a plethora of natural and sustainable wine producers, as well as a multitude of wine production techniques. These factors take Jura wines to a whole new level - a level of its own. Take a Jura wine today. Feel the experience, live the experience, enjoy the experience. It's wild!
Céline Gormally, who created her domain in 2008, lives by the saying from Saint Exupery “The earth is not ours ; but lent to us by our children.” This rings true in all facets of how she manages her land. A woman of temperamento, she manages around 5ha of vines with the help of her husband Steve. The fields, as she calls them, are looked after without herbicide or pesticide, but with biodynamic principals and compost as fertilizer and distributes it with an Octavia mare between the vines.
Les Dolomies takes its name from the magnesium limestone found in the area. The iridescent marls and limestone outcrops can be found extensively throughout the vineyards, especially in their fields that are north of Lons le Saunier. They are one of the best geological soils for Jura grape varieties with their ability to disintegrate, allowing good penetration of the root network. They are also an excellent water tank.
Celine is a fighter and has a real belief in the beauty of wines from this region. She was assisted by Earth Links (an organization helping organic farmers) to debut to acquire vineyards. After several years of work in the vineyard in the purest respect for nature, she gradually began to sell their wine and is now sought after by many countries around the world including top restaurants like Noma in Copenhagen. She believes in the strength of each of their plots, bottling separately which is not the norm in the Jura. This perseverance has allowed Céline to lease and develop their new parcel 55a Savagnin (pictured below) a couple of meters outside the designated area of Château-Chalon and another vineyard near Nervy. We are expecting great things to come from these two special vineyards to add to her already established labels.
All wines are wild fermentation with very little sulphur, if any. Whites sit on their fine lees in old Mersault barrels from Burgundy. Production is around only 10,000 bottles a year!
2014 Les Dolomies Pinot La Cabane
From a plot in Frontenay next to the Les Boutonniers vineyard. Stainless steel tank wild fermentation and only a small amount of sulphur at bottling.
Some slight reduction on opening it slowly reveals some autumn forest floor, candied raspberry, dark cherries and musk. Palate entry feeds plenty of dark cherry fruit and it’s a little jubey and spicy, adding dimension. The tannins are fine and match a nice acidity line she achieves through the whole wine.
2013 Côtes du Jura "En Novelin" Chardonnay
Comes from vines 45 years old on a lighter, calcareous clay soil that yields more substantial fruit than the Boutonniere or Les Combes - well, relatively speaking, at only 20-25hL / ha! The Vineyard is situated in the town of Frontenay on an easy sloping field. Bottled in November 2014, always the more open Chardonnay of the three. Some funky reduction on the nose. Yellow fruit, with fresh apple and a fine nutty note. The palate offers a beautiful volume that is offset by a high acidity. The fruit had a rather cool 2013 and the result is a tight line and final, salivating acidity and salinity with a little peppermint.
2014 Les Dolomies Les Boutonniers Chardonnay
Is also derived from blue marl clay and limestone soils similar to En Novelin. Vine age here is 65 years and produces large grapes but more limited quantities at 15-20hl/ha. The vineyard sits by the main road between Passenans and Frontenay, on a slightly sloping west facing block close to the forested hills above. Sits on its fine lees in old Mersault barrels without battonage.
The nose has a slight reduction. The stone fruits are lean and provide a base for some pine sap, moss and green rhubarb enhanced by florals. Concentrated on the palate, it shows still a little closed but will flourish with aeration. Its volume is present having body but also length and always with that touch of spice.
2014 Les Dolomies Les Combes Chardonnay
Comes from cold and wet red marl. The vines are 70 years old, originally purchased with the help of the Terre de Liens association, now produces more than very low yields, around 15hl / ha! The vineyard is situated in a very open small bowl just below the town of Passenans and faces west. Sits on its fine lees in old Mersault barrels without battonage.
Complex though still a little closed. Fresh granny smith apple, herbs and curry leaf. It has an impressive structure and power on the palate. One feels immediately the dizzying depth and material of this old vine Chardonnay with a fine acidity and divine length. Superb wine that will challenge the years ... not to mention some great Burgundian whites!
2014 Les Dolomies St Loth Savagnin
From a plot in the town of St Lothain leased off Diddier Grappe.
Some ginger spices and poached pear on the nose and a little citrus. Nice leesy depth on the palate with that distinct phenolic pithy crunch and salinity. This wine explodes on the finish and fills every crevice of your mouth. Very mineral driven wine which is drinking well already.
2014 Les Dolomies En Rolion Savagnin
From a plot in Frontenay above the Les Boutonniers vineyard. From old vine savagnin.
This is the most elegant of all the wines she produces, with an amazing depth and minerality. A term often overused but fits this wine perfectly. It is reductive on opening but with air reveals a complexity of fruit and savoury depth that equals the best in topped up savagnin wines from the Jura. The balance of acidity and phenolic crunch is spot on for me. A trait Céline gets just right in her wines providing length and balance.
2014 Les Dolomies Croix Sarrant Savagnin
From a small 55a plot of vines just meters outside of the Chateau Chalon designation facing south west below the town. The vines here are quite young at 15 years old. Planted to organic and biodynamic from the beginning. Sits on its fine lees in old Meursault barrels without battonage.
A nice Jura funky nose opens out to some lemons and cut red apple on breathing. On the palate there is an acid line from mid to end that provides line for lemon citrus flavours that flesh out on the back palate with oyster shell salinity providing a kick.
Les Dolomies Macvin Blanc NV
Eau de Vie distilled from Chardonnay and Savagnin in barrel for 24 months then Chardonnay and Savagnin grape must added back in before fermentation.
A fresh style of Macvin with the Eau de Vie in support and never overpowering. The fruit is of great quality here so the juice adds a drinkability. It is spicy but also packed with the dried fruit character of peaches, pears and apricots.
Being a former employee of the Jura body (SVJ) Société de Viticulture du Jura for 10 years, Frédéric Lambert knows the region, soils and vines of the Jura very well. He started buying vineyards around Toulouse-le-Château in 1993 and later set up his own Domaine in 2003. His wife Marie-Anne now works full time with Frédéric and their domaine is going from strength to strength buying more plots in Passenans, close by to Les Dolomies Le Combes vineyard, and also two plots in the famed vineyards of Château Chalon. Yields are always kept very low and it shows in the intensity and length he gets in his wines. The winemaking facilities are located in the town of Toulouse but their house and tasting rooms are in the small village of Le Chateley. Their wines are mostly traditional and whites being (sous voile) oxidative with a few exceptions linking them to the slowly modernising movement in the Jura right now. Every wine is carefully thought out in the cave which now resides in the old honey factory in the town of Toulouse. Production is now around 15000 bottles a year but they will expand further once their son finishes his viticulture studies. We look forward to seeing the growth in this great family domaine.
NV Frédéric Lambert Cremant du Jura Blanc
From vines in and around Toulouse-le-Château. Mostly Chardonnay with a little Pinot adding richness. 30 months on lees. From 2012 fruit.
There are some white flowers and lemon fruit on the nose with hints of nuts telling you this wine is from the Jura. It has a nice entry and mousse feel feeding some lemon sherbet. You can feel some weight from the 30 months on lees but it always keeps a freshness and zing from the typical Chardonnay acidity.
2014 Frédéric Lambert Trousseau
From vines in the village of Toulouse-le-Château and also from Fangy and Monay. Vines grown on gravelly soil; yield 35 hl / ha; old rootstock was grafted and replanted to "trousseau à lame", a special clone Frederic was involved in cultivating at his time in the (SVJ) Société de Viticulture du Jura. Effeuillage (leaf thinning) and green harvesting at 50%.
Quite up-front fruity nose of raspberry and wild strawberry with black tea and earth. On the palate it has a lovely fresh raspberry lead-in which has quite a bit of depth for Trousseau. For me this is due to the Trousseau à lame vines, but it’s balanced by the high acidity making this a perfect food wine. Nice fine tannins, which suits the wine’s body, and star anise intermix on the finish.
2013 Frédéric Lambert Les Gryphees Chardonnay
Vines 40/50 years on a parcel, dotted with designer fossils near the top of Toulouse-le-Château (hence the name Le Gryphées). Ouillé (topped up) and 12 months on its lees in barrels new 1/3, 1/3 one year, 1/3 to 2 years. No residual sugar and a lower Ph. 3. Only around 1000 bottles a year.
Lovely nose of acacia honey and fennel with a little preserved lemon. It’s quite viscous in the mouth with plenty of savoury woody character. Although this wine is (ouillé) topped up, it still has plenty of Jura traits with almonds and curry leaf and a little menthol. It has length and high acidity that drives the finish.
2010 Frédéric Lambert Savagnin
A sous voile (oxidative) wine. Bottled in March 2014, after 30 months in older barrel under voile. Taken from vines in Fangy and Passenans.
This Savagnin ticks all the boxes if you are a Jura fan. That classic aldehydic, pungent nose drawing you in from the oxidation. A little marzipan, curry spices and walnut paste. Plenty of herbal influences. There is perfect progression on the palate. A concoction of savoury elements similar to the nose meet you at first sip and continue through the mid palate. Finishing with an amazing length of grape phenolics, old barrel grip and acidity that only the best Jura whites achieve.
2008 Frédéric Lambert Vin Jaune Château Chalon
Only the second vintage of this wine. From two new plots in the middle of the bowl of the Chateau Chalon designation on the south west facing slop near the town of Menétru-le-Vignoble. Limited to strict rules. The grapes are harvested from the Lias marl, in a remarkable site. Aging takes place six years and three months after the harvest. The wine is then sold in "clavelins" 62 cl.
Quite tight at the moment and needs a long decant to show at its best. A fruity and fresh style of Vin Jaune. On the nose are white flowers and Pureed apples and that pungent aldehyde smell mixed with spices and walnuts. Nice volume in the mouth gaining that glycerol effect from long barrel aging and depth of flavour. The length goes on and on in these wines with that citrus acidity cut and drive.
Notes byGreg Murphy