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Domaine Rolet (Jura, France)

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

The Jura wine region, known for two extremely unique wines, Vin Jaune and Vin de Paille, as well as its amazing selection of cheeses, is one France's best kept secrets. With its 2,000 hectares of vineyards, Jura is one of the smallest wine regions in France, yet Jura’s wines have the potential to surprise you in many ways.

Our first stop in the Jura wine region was Domaine Rolet, located in the city of Arbois. From 1942, Domaine Rolet has been a remarkable family estate in Arbois, and since 2018, three families with unique specialties took over the Domaine to extend its great heritage. When we arrived at the wine shop located in the center of Arbois, our host, Sarah, took us into the cellar within walking distance from the shop. Here, barrels from several decades ago to the latest vintage were piling up with super-organized management. What is the oldest vintage you could find in the cellar? Vin Jaune 1983! Sarah told us that Vin Jaune from Domaine Rolet, rather than maturing six years and three months in the barrel as minimum regulation, let the wine stay in the barrel for seven whole years to add more complex aromas such as nuts and hazelnuts.

Sarah generously presented eleven wines for us to taste, starting with sparkling reds and ending with all kinds of whites. Domain Rolet holds 63 hectares of vineyards, spreading out four wine AOCs in the Jura region, giving them a remarkable ability to produce a greater range of fine wines. Since the aging process in Jura is unique, our host also spent time teaching us some French wine terms! For example, if you see sous-voile on the bottle, the wine is matured with a layer of yeast on top of the wine, giving the wine an intense oxidized flavor.

Among so many wines we tasted, 2015 Arbois “Tradition” which contains 50% of Chardonnay and 50% Savagnin, which is also a white grape grown in the region. The wine showed a combination of finesse and power with flavors of walnuts and spice combined with a hint of white flowers' fragrant aromas. Both varieties spent four years of maturation in the barrel separately and blended three months before bottling. With its array of complex characteristics combined with refreshing acidity, we recommended trying this wine, especially with a piece of Comté cheese.

Sarah spent almost two hours with us and took us through the exciting journey of Jura wines. We recommend you visit Domaine Rolet during your Jura trip. And, BIG THANKS to Sarah for sharing the precious 1983 Arbois Vin Jaune with us. We felt blessed!

What is Vin Jaune? It is typically a dry and powerful wine, usually made exclusively with the white grape Savagnin. It takes a long time in the barrel without any intervention, plus the unique aging with the voile gives the wine unique aromas and pronounced nuttiness flavor, in addition to a shimmering golden yellow color. These characteristics are very similar to Sherry found in Spain. Fun fact: wine producers in Jura bottle Vin Jaune in a unique shape called a Clavelin, which holds just 620 ml of wine rather than a classic 750ml.

Experience Rating: 3 Stars

Pet-Friendly: Yes

Experience Vibe: Private Experience, Standing Tasting

Reservations Needed: Yes, Reserve through email

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