Posts Tagged ‘Palena’

There have been a number of regions/wines in the last few years that have grabbed my attention. The Rhône valley,  Muscadet, Beaujolais and Spain all have been on the short list in the last few years. A couple of years ago I had my first wine from the Jura wine. People will call them nerd wines, claim they are not accessible and an acquired taste. There may be some truth to that, but they are also some of the most distinctive, memorable and intriguing wines available.

After a number of recent Riesling tastings, I decided to offer up a Jura tasting to the group. Last week, we got together at Palena  and my friend Tim and I pulled together a list of wines that included the following:

N.V. Hubert Clavelin Crémant du Jura Brut
2007 Domaine de l’Aigle a Deux Tetes Côtes du Jura En Quattre Vis Vieilles Vigne
2007 Domaine de l’Aigle a Deux Tetes Côtes du Jura Vieilles Vignes en Griffez
2008 Emmanuel Houillon Arbois Pupillin Maison Pierre Overnoy Chardonnay
1993 Emmanuel Houillon Poulsard Arbois Pupillin Maison Pierre Overnoy
2007 Jacques Puffeney Trousseau Arbois Les Berangères
2009 Domaine Ganevat Côtes du Jura Plein Sud
2007 Philippe Bornard Arbois Pupillin L’Ivresse de Noé

The Ganevat seemed to pull the most votes for wine of the night, although the Puffeney and the ’08 Houillon were also outstanding. The nose on the ’93 Houillon is not something I will soon forget — New Jersey turnpike, burning tires, some brett and flatus (eau de ewwww)….it burned off a bit as the night went on. It might not sound appealing,  but I was rather fond of it.  In the glass it looked like a cloudy mix of rose and iced tea. The nose and the appearance led me to believe that it would be tired (if not dead) and not too pleasant, but it was very vibrant and showed quite well.

The nose on the L’Ivresse de Noé was all about fresh apples — really a thing of beauty. I also really liked the wines from L’Aigle a Deux Tetes. I preferred the En Griffez over the En Quatre — it’s had a bit more weight and richness — and might be mistaken for a white Burgundy, though you would be hard pressed to find as good of a white Burgundy for $23.

All of the wines made for a very interesting tasting. There were many wines that were considered — and those that were overlooked may soon have their chance as I am thinking we need to do a Jura night at least a couple of times a year so that people can get their nerd on. Palena was a great pairing as well, love their menu — roast chicken is a great paring for Jura wines, and the roast chicken at Palena might be the best I have had. Jura wines are great food wines. They tend to have good acidity and can be a bit austere, they want (and at times need) food to be enjoyed. In my opinion, they also tend to be some of the best wines to pair with cheese.

It didn’t take long for me to open another bottle of Jura. Last night I opened a Montbourgeau Côtes du Jura, very interesting Poulsard — could not say if it was a red wine or a rosé, but it was really delicious — strawberry and watermelon jolly rancher (tart red fruit that just makes you salivate), really juicy and very accessible.

I can’t say I have completely taken to some of the oxidized whites from Jura, but maybe it is a taste I will acquire. Regardless, these are some of the greatest wines and they deserve a place in your heart and cellar.


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Here is the menu from our “Head to Tail” dinner and Northern Rhône tasting at Palena on February 2, 2011. The food was outstanding. Palena has long been one of my favorite restaurants in DC. My favorite wines were the Vernay Condrieu 06, Allemand Cornas 06, Chapoutier Ermitage 92 and the Jamet Cote Rotie 2001.

Carne Cruda  – Diced Gretna Farms (Virginia) Tenderloin, Shaved Reggiano and Lemon Olive Oil
– Gaston Chiquet Brut 1997
– Chapoutier Hermitage Blanc Chante-Alouette 2004
– Georges Vernay Condrieu Coteau de Vernon 2006

Brodo  – Julienned Crêpes, Slivers of Gretna Farms Beef Shoulder, Vegetable Garnish in a Rich Clear Oxtail Broth
– Auguste Clape Cornas 1996
– Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard 2006

Spiedini d’Amore  – Grilled Beef Heart – Roseda Farms (Eastern Shore) House Cured Beef Tongue – Roseda Farms, Puntarella, Radish and Herb Salad – Salsa Verde
– Jean Paul and Jean Luc Jamet Côte-Rôtie 2002
– Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Cote Blonde 1996
– Chapoutier Ermitage L’Ermite 2002

Oxtail and Beef Cheek, “Vaccinara” Horst Co-Operative (Pennsylvania) Toasted Vermicelli Pasta Aglio e Olio
– Jean Paul and Jean Luc Jamet Cote Rotie 2001
– Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie La Landonne 1995
– Chapoutier Ermitage le Pavillon 1992

Wood Grilled Steak –Roseda Farms Ribeye Steak (Dry Aged 8 Weeks in House) Corona Beans, Sautéed Escarole, Horseradish Cream
– Jean-Michel Gerin Côte-Rôtie Les Grandes Places 2006
– Guigal Côte-Rôtie Chateau d’Ampuis 1999

Meadow Creek Dairy “Grayson” – Galax, Virginia Local honey,  Our Tyrolean Almond Bread
– Ogier Côte-Rôtie 2001
– Radio-Coteau Syrah Timbervine 2004
– Sine Quo Non Syrah The Marauder 1999

Fiore di Latte Ice Cream – Trickling Springs Dairy (Pennsylvania) Dried Fruit Compote, Red Wine Sauce Cookie
– 2001 Domaine Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Roussilliere
– 1988 Château Caillou
– 2003 Château La Tour Blanche Sauternes

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