Dreamy Wines from Jura

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Ah, the Jura. France’s smallest winemaking region, and definitely one of the most interesting. Sandwiched between Burgundy and Switzerland and surrounded by the wooded Jura mountains, it’s a world unto itself. It makes idiosyncratic wines that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. But aside from the wine geek points you get when you drink it, the wines are damn delicious.

Henri Le Roy of Domaine de l'Aigle À Deux Têtes is a shining star here. His wines, all farmed organically, have that je ne se quois of Jura, but they are approachable and not made in the typical oxidative style. Totally food friendly (plenty of acid), but intriguing and exotic. You’ll keep finding your nose back in the glass, trying to identify what you smell.

Or you’ll just open it up and enjoy the hell out of it. Either way, try these.

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2016 Domaine de l'Aigle À Deux Têtes Poulsard "Les Clous" Côtes du Jura Rouge

This is an incredibly sexy wine with layers of aromatics: baked raspberries, allspice and cardamom, geranium, with a cool flinty core. The texture is silky and elegant, starting off quite delicate but picking up more weight as it opens in the glass. Uber long finish with lots of spice and character. It’s gorgeous.

2016 Domaine de l'Aigle À Deux Têtes Savagnin-Naturé "Les Clous" Côtes du Jura Blanc

Savagnin is a magical white grape that is related via mutation to Traminer and Gewürztraminer and is the parent of Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltiner, Sauvignon Blanc, Silvaner, and Trousseau. This wine has a bright tartness to it, with notes of spiced apple cider, tamarind, curry, and a touch of salty umami.

2016 Domaine de l'Aigle À Deux Têtes Chardonnay "Derriere la Roche" Côtes du Jura Blanc

This Chardonnay is a unique clone known for its red stem. It produces low yields to begin with, but this particular vineyard suffered from frost and bird damage for several vintages before being back in action with this one. There’s a great fruit and nut kumbaya here, with notes of melon and dried apricot meeting a cashew and hazelnut creaminess. Toasty and long on the finish but with a zippy acidity.

2016 Domaine de l'Aigle À Deux Têtes Chardonnay "Lices en Peria" Côtes du Jura Blanc

Grown on a cloistered, sloped vineyard surrounded by forest on limestone soil. It expresses mineral and green apple notes with lively acid. There’s a light, elegant toast on the finish that is so balanced and very integrated.

- Kate Soto