Date: 30 September 2014
Wine: Jean-François Genevat 2009 Savagnin En Barby
Origin: Arbois, Jura, France

Revelation: I approached a table at a professional tasting to sample a smattering of Rhônes. From across the table, an old pal insisted I start with something else: Jura wines.

I thank said pal. The first white he poured – a Savagnin – was my wine of the day. I’ve tasted Savagnin many times. It is often pleasant. It is sometimes delightful. It is rarely breathtaking, unless it is made in a Vin Jaune style. However, this particular bottling defied every connection I’d ever had with the grape.

I could go into its notes of savoriness and other compelling flavors, but those show only one aspect of the wine…and what impressed me even more were its seemingly infinite complexity, its elegance, its wherewithall, its full-monty, its length…the only place to stop with this wine was simply its “brilliance”.

Jean-François “Fanfan” Ganevat makes about three dozen wines every year. So, if you can’t find this cuvée, rest assured there are many others (even if all made in small quantities.) In addition to this mind-bender, he makes red blends of local – and often ancient – local varieties with Gamay imported from Burgundy. And, he likes to bottle them in magnum. Do make the effort to find these beauties!