Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Domaine Rijckaert (Les Planches, Jura) -- Current Releases

As best I can recall, the first Jura wine I ever encountered was from Rijckert, more than fifteen years ago. It was a Chardonnay, and immediately, I could recognize that there was a difference here from any other Chardonnay that I had previously encountered — the difference that is Jura.

Jean Rijckaert, originally from Belgium, worked at first with his countryman, Jean-Marie Guffens, based in the Mâconnais, and they originally were partners in the Verget négociant operation. (If you’ve had unimpressive experiences with Verget wines, I encourage you nevertheless to read on.) Rijckaert eventually established his own operation in 1998 in the Mâconnais and the Jura, and it is for the wines from the latter region that I am concerned here.

As time went on, Rijckaert needed to find a successor, and he did in Florent Rouve. Since 2013, Rouve has been taking over the operation with advice from Rijckaert as he goes along.

The estate in the Jura consists of six hectares (there’s an additional four hectares owned in the Mâconnais), and there are also négociant wines. The négociant wines are indicated by the green printing on the labels. Only white wines are produced.

What I’ve tasted does not put these wines at the very top of my Jura hierarchy, but they are good wines that reflect the terroir and at a fair price, and so are well worth your trying to experience the individuality of Jura wines, especially as they have good distribution in certain areas. (Jura wines are hard to come by; it is the smallest wine-producing region in France, and only a relative few have access to the very top, such as Ganevat, Pignier, and Château d’Arlay.) (Continue reading here.)