Defying All the Odds: The Rarest, Strangest and Most Compelling Wine of 2018 from the Wizard of the Jura – Jean-Francois Ganevat

Posted on: 08/15/18 12:01 PM

Jean Francois

Today we’re offering another mind-bending (and exceptionally rare) experience from Jean-François Ganevat – one of the wine world’s last true magicians. Just like the late Didier Dagueneau or the great Paolo Bea, Ganevat holds in an immensely important place as being a disruptor. His wines–particularly the one we are offering today–stir conversation and debate. Today’s wine, the 2008 Chardonnay Cuvée du Pépé, is unlike any Chardonnay you have ever tasted. Nearly one hundred year old vines, aged sous-voile for 87 months. Essentially a mini-vin jaune, Ganevat’s Cuvée du Pépé 2008 is absurdly rare and absolutely spectacular.

Jean Francois

2008 Jean-François Ganevat Côtes du Jura La Cuvée du Pépé

“There is a new white aged under a veil of yeasts that goes under the name 2008 La Cuvée du Pépé. What is unusual is that this mini-vin jaune – it aged sous-voile for seven years – is produced with Chardonnay grapes and cannot be called vin jaune. The nose screams Jura, with incredible intensity and powerful aromas. It can certainly compete with the house’s yellow wines. The complexity and power of the aromas are also matched by the palate. I don’t know where the grapes come from but the labeling suggest they are from their estate vineyards, and the texture balance and concentration found in the palate made me think it could come from the Grandes Teppes. This is a tremendous new addition to the already wide portfolio and Ganevat taking a new step in the development of the traditional sus voile wines.” 95 Points, Wine Advocate

More About the Wine

It would be easy to roll your eyes and cast Ganevat as a mad scientist, which, admittedly, he surely is. But while his wines may feel radical they are not adored and sought after because of that. Collectors and sommeliers are obsessed with Ganevat because, though they feel so freshly invigorating, daring even (sometimes his wines are so utterly fantastical, so largely eclectic, the flavors feel as if they were sorted, strained and filtered through the strangest pages of a Dr. Seuss book), they still hold onto a core of principles carried by all truly great wine: balance, focus, and purity.
This may have come from years of training with Jean-Marc Morey in Chassagne Montrachet but it also, I think, stems from something deeper – an obsessed soul chasing the nature of place. Why else would you produce over 40 different cuvées a year? How else could you hit a home run each time?

The 2008 Cuvée du Pépé is unquestionably one of Ganevat’s finest moments. It’s a gem, not only for Jura fans, but anyone who takes an interest in wine. Extremely immersive in texture, detail and structure, Cuvée du Pépé has to be one of the most aromatically complex wines we have encountered this year. This baby is an event The aromas come in and and out of focus as if they were spinning on a wheel go round, morphing from fresh honey, cinnamon and mushrooms to caramel and apple in another, to smoke and roasted nuts… it’s a spell binding experience and the wine feels alive. Powerfully concentrated on the palate, the chardonnay’s fruit is in that moment of apples and pears just beginning to brown. Perhaps the most impressive feat is how Ganevat has managed to have such power and concentration while maintaining an astonishing pinpoint focus. It’s high wire act, a beam of acidity between a tower of mammoth fruit and startling concentration. The results, for wine-lovers, are simply sensational.

Posted in Daily Flash By Tim Sellon