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Francois Rousset-Martin, Cuvee du Professeur 2015
A Savagnin made in the ouillé style from late-harvest grapes that were just beginning to show a purple tinge (Savagnin is related to Gewurztraminer, and both grapes deliver hauntingly complex aromas and flavours at this stage). The equilibrium of this wine is startling: rich, layered, and complex, it is high in concentration and low in alcohol. It has a touch of sweetness in the center and finishes with a salty, dry tang that is uniquely Jurassien. “Sous Roche" refers to the location of this vineyard “under the rock" outcropping that supports Chateau Chalon above, one of the Jura's grands crus for Savagnin.
Hand-harvested.Barrels (228L pieces bourguignonne and demi-muids) all are 3 to 4 years old. Wines undergo malolactic fermentation. All wines aged on fine lees.Neither fined, nor filtered. Oxidative wines have no added sulfur.The domaine's vines are located in the Chateau-Chalon and Cotes du Jura AOCs. For wines to take the Chateau-Chalon AOC, they must be Savagnin raised sous-voile in demi-muid.
Francois Rousset is producing some of the most captivating wines in the Jura right now, of that there is no doubt. Recent bottles consumed have further confirmed this and the glacial pace with which his white wines age; these are wines that seemingly transcend time. Francois first caught the wine-bug growing up in Burgundy where his father was a micro-biologist for the Hospices de Beaune. Childhood trips were spent in the Jura getting to know and falling in love with a parcel of family vines which he would later vinify with his father. After earning an oenology degree and continuing his journey in the southern Rhone and Languedoc regions, he returned to his Jurassian roots and in 2007 officially launched his winery. While his scientific background provides Francois with a literal understanding of the transformation from grape to wine, he is most influenced by keen intuition, and winemaking lore passed down from his great grandfather, also a winemaker.This central part of the Jura is very much the undiscovered Jura, characterized by imposing limestone and marl cliffs perched atop pedestals of sloping vineyards. It is a raw, imposing beauty very different to the gentle slopes further south. He fashions wines within the Chateau Chalon appellation, labelled as Cotes du Jura since he makes them in a non-oxidative (ouillee or topped-up) style. Vinified by parcel (farming is organic-certified) with little to no sulphur and bottled unfined and unfiltered, the Rousset wines are complex and very concentrated, falling somewhere along the spectrum of floral, delicate and exotic and rich. They are somewhat reminiscent of the Ganevat and Labet wines, but with laser-like acidity and tension alied to serious concentration and depth. Stunning wines indeed. The white wines shimmer and vibrate with life; they are concentrated, superbly balanced and very fine indeed. The red wines are delicious; pale, light, fleeting and charming. They are delicious and go down very nicely!
Wine Advocate 92pts (2017) - The lieu-dit underneath the big rock of Chateau Chalon is the best known and most prestigious, and it's the source for the 2017 Cotes du Jura Savagnin Cuvee du Professeur Sous Roche. This Savagnin would have the right to be called Chateau Chalon if it was aged sous voile for six years, but because it matured in topped-up barrels for 14 to 16 months, it's a Cotes du Jura, a choice of Russet-Martin. Yields were catastrophically low in 2017, and there are only 1,500 of this (but there will be some 4,000 in 2018). It's a bit spicy, and I guess it must have had some traces of flor, which give it the Jura character. It matured in oak barrels from Burgundy, and it's faintly oxidative. Cuvee du Professeur makes reference to his father who still owns this vineyard.