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Croix & Courbet

High Voltage (and Highly Limited) Jura Back in Stock
Croix & Courbet
For anyone new to the party, this micro-Jura project is a partnership between David Croix―one of Burgundy’s young superstars―and his great mate, Damien Courbet. Courbet is Jura born and bred and manages his own family domaine in Nevy-sur-Seille, next door to the Château-Chalon appellation. The pair craft three expressions of Savagnin ouillé (topped up), each emphasising purity and terroir rather than flor-aging notes. The Côtes du Jura is a blend of Arbois, Passenans and Château-Chalon, and their two single vineyard wines come from vines in Arbois and Château-Chalon, respectively.
 
For those lucky enough to have tasted Croix’s frighteningly good Corton-Charlemagne, it will come as no surprise that the style of the wines hinges on purity and tension. Don’t come here looking for overtly oxidative Savagnin sous voile. On the contrary, these wines are all kept topped and offer a pure, precise and mineral expression of the Jura terroir.
 
While all the grapes are purchased, Croix and Courbet pay well over the market value, encouraging their growers to work as diligently as possible. The pair also choose the picking dates and oversee harvesting, and Courbet himself farms the En Beaumont lieu-dit, which lies minutes from his winery where all the wines are made. In the cellar, the winemaking is strictly artisanal, with only native yeast ferments. Courbet believes that Savagnin is much more robust than Chardonnay and it certainly has lower pH’s as a rule, allowing the pair to keep sulphur doses to the bare minimum. The wines are raised in large-format oak or concrete eggs, depending on the vineyard.
 
Shaped by the vintage’s tiny yields—only one 500-litre barrel of the Côtes du Jura was made this year—and the electrifying freshness of the grapes, 2021 had delivered a dazzling trio of wines. Expect chiselled, racy, saline whites with stone-sculpted textures (what a French taster might call eau de roche). Each wine is packed with its own site-driven variation on chalk, savoury spice, citrus pulp and stone fruit. If we were in Burgundy, wines of this quality would be double the price, if not more. If you’re keen (and you should be), please act fast—our previous allocation sold out within days.

The Wines

Croix & Courbet Côtes du Jura Savagnin Ouillé 2021

Croix & Courbet Côtes du Jura Savagnin Ouillé 2021

100% Savagnin (ouillé). The Côtes du Jura is a blend of fruit from Arbois, Passenans and Château-Chalon. The Arbois (En Chemenot) and Passenans parcels are organically farmed, with Croix and Courbet involved in the harvesting decisions. The third parcel in Château-Chalon is En Beaumont, a highly regarded lieu-dit farmed by Courbet himself and is in organic conversion. The Savagnin vines here were planted in 1962, 1985 and 1991 and are rooted in gently sloping clay and limestone scree (60-80 cm deep) over grey marl.

Every bunch was harvested by hand, and the grapes underwent a three-hour press cycle with lightly crushed whole clusters. All ferments were spontaneous, and this cuvée was raised for five months in older barrels, followed by 15 months in stainless-steel tank. Every care was taken to keep sulphur additions in the range of 20-30 ppm (none was added during maturation, and there was only a slight adjustment at bottling).

The resulting wine is super racy and fresh but also packed with all kinds of ripe citrus, dried pineapple, orange rind and bitter lemon notes. The finish is positively electric with a racy, grapefruity, tangy close that also throws some very subtle hints of lees (nuts, butter). A wine that really shines at the table. Perfect with oysters, hard cheese, grilled white fish and chicken schnitzel!


Croix & Courbet Côtes du Jura Savagnin Ouillé 2021
Croix & Courbet Arbois En Chemenot Savagnin Ouillé 2021

Croix & Courbet Arbois En Chemenot Savagnin Ouillé 2021

100% Savagnin (ouillé). The Arbois lieu-dit of En Chemenot lies just east of the village (Domaine des Cavarodes produces a Poulsard from the same site). This north-facing hillside plot at 350 metres elevation sits on blue and grey marl. The Savagnin was planted in 2004, and the vineyard is managed using organic and biodynamic methods. Courbet is delighted with the quality coming from these vines (a portion of which is also used for the Côtes du Jura blend).

The winemaking here was similar to the Côtes du Jura—hand harvest, natural yeasts, low sulphur, etc. This cuvée was vinified in cement egg tank (90%) and a one-year-old barrel. Croix likes the tension and minerality the egg brings to the density of this vineyard’s fruit. And tension is again the word. On the nose, there’s lifted green pear and ginger spice, honeysuckle too: really inviting, leading to a linear palate draped in citrus, pithy and saline nuance. Then, there’s a cool hint of fresh cucumber, pink salt, and some classy lees again. Long and driven, it’s a wine that loves air (and food). Give it a good decant. It was (by the way) pH 3.1 after malolactic conversion! Again, any seafood, Comté or other hard cheeses, or roast chicken and grilled pork chops would make for terrific matches. 

Croix & Courbet Arbois En Chemenot Savagnin Ouillé 2021
Croix & Courbet Côtes du Jura En Beaumont Savagnin Ouillé 2021

Croix & Courbet Côtes du Jura En Beaumont Savagnin Ouillé 2021

Limited. 100% Savagnin (ouillé). En Beaumont is a highly regarded lieu-dit of Château-Chalon. The vineyard is farmed by Courbet himself and is currently in organic conversion. The Savagnin vines here were planted in 1962, 1985 and 1991 and are rooted in gently sloping clay and limestone scree (60-80 cm deep) over grey marl. Courbet believes the chalky soils of En Beaumont—chipped away from the dramatic cliffs that surround the village—respond best to barrel maturation, so this cuvée is raised in large oak for 18 months. Again, there is no sulphur addition until bottling. The wine is labelled Côtes du Jura as the Château-Chalon AOC is only for Vin Jaune.

This is a blinder. The most layered and Burgundian in depth and structure, this is positively exploding on the nose with iodine/oyster shell, nectarine, and complex nutty, buttery hints. While there is more texture than the two wines above, it’s still super mineral, citrussy and racy. The nose offers the same crystalline, stone fruit notes and iodine, with those sweet, leesy hints, all leading to a brilliant, driven, rocky, powdery, lingering close. So great. At the table, this could work with anything that can be matched with great white Burgundy (even if it has its own unique persona). Again, it’s a wine that really enjoys a decant at this early stage.

Croix & Courbet Côtes du Jura En Beaumont Savagnin Ouillé 2021

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