The Sip

An archive of notes from 2015—2019

Alpine Chardonnay and the Yodeling Pickle! 🎤🎤🎤


Look, I like treats. Getting caught fist-deep in the Nutella jar is common occurrence for me and I’m not ashamed to admit it. But if I were to say I have a sweet tooth, then it’s also fair to say I have a salt jaw. Like the way you need something sweet to polish off a meal? But need something salty to balance it out. That’s Salt Jaw. It’s quite the cycle.

And something about this perfect little Jura gem tickles my salt jaw just so. A little geography lesson: the Jura is the tiniest of regions in France, nestled between Switzerland and Burgundy, and about as tucked away as sunshine in Seattle. That’s probably why their wine making traditions remain what they were centuries ago, unaffected by the modernity of the rest of the world. 

 Domaine Montbourgeau Cuvee Speciale ‘L’Etoile’ Jura, France 2010

Domaine Montbourgeau Cuvee Speciale ‘L’Etoile’ Jura, France 2010

It’s important to note that the Jura makes many wines that some consider an acquired taste: risky, a shock to the system even, like stinky cheese or yodeling pickles (oh yeah, that’s a thing). 

Well, I happen to love stinky cheese, but not everyone does. And, not all Jura wines demand that you get weird and go straight to funk town. Montbourgeau’s super special cuvée of early-picked Chardonnay is just clean, stunning, herbaceous, and utterly drinkable. No weirdness required. This delicious quaffer also pairs exceedingly well with food, because of the lower alcohol, savory character, and higher acidity (which results from the early picking). Anything with lemon and herbs, behold your match made in heaven! And cheeses love this wine. This wine is totally disarming and friendly on the senses.

You might be asking, what makes it a ‘special’ cuvée? Well, for one, it’s made exclusively from Madame Deriaux’s special selection of Chardonnay from her best plantings.  

She leaves it to age for up to 60 months – yeah, that’s 5 years!

** Tangential side note***

In the wine world, time passes as it does when you’re a newborn:

“Oh how old is he!” “He just turned 52 weeks!”

That’s a year, people. That’s one year.

Anyway, it is a wine for the ages, vibrant and complex, with a dense and concentrated body (think texture rather than heaviness) and if you’re gearing up for the holidays, have a few of these on hand. Turkey dinner will never be the same. If you’re not cooking, go for the wine win and bring this for your host – you’ll be voted best guest and easily avoid clean up duties for your grand slam wine share.

You will be amazed at how different and delicious it can be when it comes from this tiny region with their unique wine traditions.

That Swiss and French influence makes it an adventure and quite the conversation starter. Not unlike the yodeling pickle.

Yodel to this to be like the pickle: