Le Sa Vient d’Où? 2017
A Wine That
is in a league of its own: a mismatch of creativity and classicism that comes together in perfect harmony. If Mozart and the Bee Gees met in a parallel universe and made a wine together, this would have been the outcome. A more-than-unusual blend of seven white grapes from across France, it's a wine that many wouldn't even dream possible, but Ganevat - as always - makes magic happen.
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- Winemaker: Jean-François Ganevat
Where and How?
A fun play on words blending together Savagnin and "Where's it from?" - this is a wine created under Jean-François' négoce label, Anne et Jean-François Ganevat (Anne is his sister). 2017 was a disastrous year for them due to frost; 95% of their vineyards were affected. So, Jean-François spoke to various organic grower friends across France to find some more fruit. Only someone as creative and pioneering as him could conceive a blend as bonkers as this: Chardonnay and Savagnin from the Jura, Aligoté from Burgundy, and Picpoul, Grenache Gris, Viognier and Clairette from the south of France. And the craziest part? It tastes just like fine Jura, but with a little more body; a little more shimmy.
All varieties were co-fermented on the skins for five weeks in a frustoconical vat. Aged in a large foudre on the lees for one year and bottled with no additions.
If you compare winemakers to guitar players, then Jean-François Ganevat is like the Brian May of the wine world. From a long line of farmers in the Jura, he started making wine from a young age. In the 90s, he came to the realisation that he wanted to make wine in the ancien way; how it was done in the old days. He says,
“I think I had realised that synthetic chemicals did not equal quality. There was a disconnect. So, like Pierre Overnoy [Jura legend], I decided to make wines with a nod to the past.”
Jean-Francois farms 13 hectares of vines in the Jura, which create his domaine wines. These vineyards are tended biodynamically, including the use of natural plant-based products such as orange oil to decrease the use of copper used in the vineyards.
In the cellar, the wines are made with a hands-off approach; the key ingredients simply being whole bunches for the reds, and time for the whites, which are aged for at least two years. There is one philosophy that stands about the rest;
“It’s simple. I have always wanted to make wines that I want to drink.”
The cellar is a patchwork of different vessels; everything from old Burgundy barrels, to amphorae of all shapes and sizes and large, to old Austrian foudres. He ages the wines in the vessels that he feels suits them. The wines are almost always bottled without sulphur, but if Jean-François feels that a cuvée needs it, he'll add a "homeopathic dose." This is a method that consists of adding a micro-dose of sulphur (sometimes undetectable) but that is believed to have the same effect on the wine.