Etienne Thiebaud commenced making his own wine at Domaine des Cavarodes in the village of Cramans in the northern part of the Jura in 2007. He makes wines of amazing purity which reflect the terroir from which they come on either side of the Loue River and across to Arbois.
He only has 4.5 hectares of vines (ranging in age from 15 to 115 years old) which he farms organically but produces many cuvees from these small holdings. The wines are made as naturally as possible with the reds undergoing semi-carbonic maceration following careful de-stemming and maturation in old barrels.
Six years’ ageing means that the latest vintages of Vin Jaune to reach market are 2010 and 2011. If you’re a fan of Vin Jaune, don’t let these slip by: 2010 was a small but high quality vintage, while 2011 was an abundant vintage of good to very good wines. Subsequent vintages have usually been much tougher propositions for growers, both in terms of quantity and quality, and prices will surely rise for this sought-after but necessarily rare wine style.
Buying young : Vin Jaune, by the way, is a much less riskier procedure than it once was: the controls, checks, supervision and understanding of these wines has greatly improved over the last two decades, and they are much more consistent as a consequence. Connoisseurs love to age these wines further and the producers themselves often give ‘drink by’ dates three decades hence, but I’m not convinced by this: the older vintages shown at the Symposium weren’t uniformly successful, and my own preference, save in the case of truly outstanding young wines, would be to drink within five years of purchase.
Mid-gold in colour, with a warm, comforting, nourishing, well-rounded nose, cleanly and sweetly expressed though without great aromatic intricacy. Ripe, rounded and tangy on the palate, with warm, earthy, savoury, meat-stock flavours lending depth and intricacy to the subdued orchard fruit.