View from la Tournelle Bistrot (A. Bowman)

Domaine de la Tournelle 

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Evelyne and Pascal Clairet of la Tournelle have a riverside restaurant right in the heart of Arbois. In fact, it's impossible to lean over the stone bridge in town without noticing their charming bistrot bustling with plats du jour and glasses of their fragrant yellow wine. From this lookout point, one can reflect on the prominent position the Clairets’ wines have in our appreciation of this remarkable region. Their careful teamwork in the vineyards and light hand in the cellar have produced some of the best examples of Jurassian wines to date; they are central to our understanding of this fascinating terroir and, are simply a pleasure to have at the table.

Monteiller Vineyard (A.Bowman)

The Clairets have farmed their six hectares organically since 2000, with certification in 2010. They manage their vineyards with biodynamic preparations and close attention to the grass that grows freely between every other row. In short, they are meticulous; giving great care to picking and sorting, with all harvesting done by hand and a rigorous post-harvest sorting to ensure only the best grapes are selected for vinification. They use a pneumatic press for gentle extractions from whole clusters, and in their naturally cool, Cistercian cellar, they allow spontaneous fermentations with native yeasts and lees aging in neutral barrels to produce pure, mineral-driven wines. The Clairets' sulfur regime has become increasingly strict over the years; where it once varied from wine to wine (with the exception of the Ploussard “L’Uva Arbosiana,” which has had no additions since 2003) they now work without any added sulfur unless serious deterioration over 24 hours calls for a tiny amount. Stability in their wines is paramount to the couple, and they often allow their wines to rest for extra time in the cellar before release. Over dinner with us last year, Pascal joked that wines which are rushed to market too soon should have a label that reads: "DIY wines -- make the second fermentation yourself!" And while there are many necessary reasons a winemaker might release a wine before it's fully settled, we nevertheless admire and appreciate the Clairets' patient approach.

Today we have red wine to offer from the challenging 2016 and 2017 vintages. The delicate, semi-carbonic Ploussard "L'Uva Arboisiana" from gray marl and clay, the cellar-worthy, and wonderfully spicy Trousseau des Corvées from clay and limestone, and Cul du Brey Rouge, a blend of selection massale Trousseau, Petit Béclan, and Syrah. Each cuvée is a strong example of natural wine with typicity, harmony, and depth – not an easy feat!  - Amanda Bowman

****Join us tonight, Tuesday June 25, 2019 at Racines NY for a special flight of wines from the Jura, including two red wines from La Tournelle! The tasting will be a wonderful introduction to the region – featuring all of the Jura’s major grape varieties and styles, both topped-up and oxidative – and will also be an exciting taste of the finest new releases from this fascinating area. The tasting begins at 6pm. Six half-pours and snack by chef Diego Moya. Tickets are $55 and reservations can be made through racinesny.com

Tournelle 2017 Arbois Trousseau des Corvées

The Clairets' make what we would consider "natural" wine, yet varietal character (and terroir) seem to shine through so vividly. This is classic Trousseau, with dark, velvety, flower petal notes on the nose, sweet, high-toned berry fruits, balanced by a hint of funk, and blackberry fruit and seeds. Les Corvées is high altitude vineyard on terroir of clay and limestone. Decant and serve lightly chilled.  

  • red
  • 19 in stock
  • $43.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Tournelle 2016 Clos du Brey Rouge

"Cul du Brey" is a blend of equal parts Trousseau, Petit Béclan, and Syrah from selection massale vines planted in limestone scree and gray marl. The grapes are de-stemmed by hand and put into vat for semi-carbonic maceration for three weeks. The 2016 shows a pretty raspberry color and offers vivid aromas of violets, white pepper, bergamot, and licorice. The palate has retained some gas, so Pascal suggests against aeration or long decants. Even so, the mid-palate is etched with grippy tannins, flavors of red currant, spice, savory herbs, and cherry. A lovely red for the summer! Amanda Bowman

  • red
  • 14 in stock
  • $41.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
  • white
  • 2 in stock
  • $109.99

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Tournelle 2017 Arbois Ploussard L'Uva Arbosiana

Evelyn and Pascal Clairet craft this cuvée from 20-30-year-old Ploussard vines planted in clay and marl soils. The grapes are hand-sorted and lightly pressed before undergoing full carbonic maceration in stainless steel tanks. Once this period is over, the juice is racked into neutral oak barrels where it will rest for three to four months before being bottled unfined, unfiltered, and without sulphur. The resulting wine is incredibly light and fresh. It is a pure joy to drink slightly chilled before a meal and is great alongside grilled chicken, vegetable dishes, or charcuterie! The 2017 has a very light red brick hue in the glass, and is showing a very subtle reduction that is a common trait of Poulsard (aka Ploussard). Another 6-12 months in bottle will benefit the wine nicely, or a proper decant if you can't wait!  

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $35.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur