Styles of Vin Jaune

So there has been some good Jura chat of late.

But one thing I’m curious of and unable to prepare myself is a way to characterise different styles of producers Vin Jaune. I love the wines but don’t drink enough, and certainly not at the same time to be able to pigeonhole.

If we could categorise, how much would different production techniques (cold, warm etc) come into it, and how much terroir (Chateau Chalon vs other areas for example when producers make both).


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Really interested to hear about it. I tried some but never bought Vin Jaune for cellaring.

I find them an interesting wine just like sherry and malvasia di Bosa, but never really fell in love with them as well.

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A late arrival to Vin Jaune, I’m afraid I can’t contribute an answer to this question. But recently I had a 2012 Domaine de Montbourgeau L’Etoile. It was fabulous. I’ve set about collecting more bottles of Vin Jaune and now have 10 from various producers and vintages (Montbourgeau, Bourdy, Pignier). Hope to become an expert in this somewhat eccentric corner of the wine world.

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I don’t drink much of these and, fwiw, can add my photo-image TN of Bernard Badoz 1990 Vin Jaune drank in 2020.
It was one of my wine highlights for the year.

Uh this is a difficult one. Don’t think my sample size is large enough to give a proper answer. Can also be very hard to find out what temperature the barrels were stored at. I guess that is a science in itself.

So i have mostly focused on producers where there are really big differences.

I think the most distinct Vin Jaune i had was Francois Rousset-Martin’s Vignes aux Dames (2011). I think it spends 8 years in barrels, but it is by far the most subtle, light and elegant Vin Jaune i had to date. Took me a bit by surprise. Think that might come from a very cold cellar.

The best i had was a Ganevat 2006 (Domaine) in 2021.

The oldest i had was a 1998 Claude Buchot in 2022. Very good and affordable. One of my goals this year is to find some proper aged ones and taste :grinning:

Noob question, what exactly is Vin Jaune and how does it differ from other Jura wines aged under flor?

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There a just some specific rules when it comes to Vin Jaune. Only Savagnin is allowed, and it is often later harvested grapes. It spends a minimum of 6 years in barrel. Thats the short version :slightly_smiling_face:

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From my experience Vin Jaune can be divided into the following categories:

barely drinkable
not especially pleasant to drink


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Can be very excellent…And always superb to make sauce!


Not a wine for eveybody, but i would not underwrite it as undrinkable.

Still a traditional and interesting style of making wine.

Basically what Lasse said. Any white grape variety can be aged under voile (flor is a Spanish term for the same thing, so sounds a bit weird in this context) in Jura, but only Vins Jaunes (and especially Château-Chalon) have quite strict criteria the must meet.

Vin Jaune is, as dictated by the appellation rules, 100% Savagnin, typically harvested very late, that must be aged at least 5 years sous voile in oak barrels and can be bottled in December six years after the harvest - ie. roughly 75 months. Most people say the wines must age sous voile for six years and three months, but even if most wines age at least that long, the appellation rules require only five years, after which the wine can be aged in a tank or a foudre. The wine cannot be released until January seven years after the harvest.

It also must be bottled in 0,62-liter clavelin bottles - and these bottles are not allowed for any other wine style apart from Vin Jaune and Château-Chalon. Some Vins Jaunes can be bottled in some standard-sized bottles when sold to non-EU countries that do not allow 0,62-liter bottles.

If aged in dry, ventilated spaces, the wine loses more water content and concentrates in alcohol, body and flavors. If aged in a more humid environment, the wine retains freshness better, but doesn’t become so impactful. There are also tons of different variables producers can fiddle with, resulting in a myriad of different Vin Jaune styles. To an indiscriminate palate, all Vins Jaunes might feel and taste identical to each other, but having been to a few Vin Jaune tastings, the wines can vary quite wildly in style and character.

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The difference between Sherry and Vin Jaune is that Sherry is typically low in acidity and can be quite high in pH. Especially Fino and Manzanilla - the styles probably the closest to Vin Jaune - tend to be made in a style that doesn’t age that well and the wines can fall apart quite rapidly after opening.

Vins Jaunes, on the other hand, are very low in pH and almost always very high in acidity - thus they are inherently much more resistant against oxidation. Furthermore, they are typically aged oxidatively for much longer, further adding to their aging potential.

Typically a young Vin Jaune can be - just as a Fino or a Manzanilla - high in acetaldehyde, lending them that distinctive tangy salinity. However, the concentration of sotolon tends to be quite low in most Vins Jaunes (and in Finos and Manzanillas, but typically not in Amontillados). The sotolon content of a Vin Jaune increases with bottle age, making an aged Vin Jaune much more complex and interesting than a young wine.

Although not as ageworthy as Madeira, Vins Jaunes are still among some of the longest-lived wines in the world. Most people just don’t seem to realize this, because nobody seems to be cellaring these wines and there is very little aged Vin Jaune going around. That still doesn’t mean one shouldn’t collect and age these gems!


Thank you for explaining in detail the differences of vin jeaune and sherry Otto.

Actually i was aware of the longevity of vin jaune.

I never started to cellar it probably because it’s a style of wine that i find difficult to open for non wine geeks, and that i don’t crave often enough to justify cellaring it.

For a lover of this style of wine i completely agree with you. Cellar it, and hope that you nephews are going to appreciate it. Beacause the wine will easily outlive you.

Cheers :clinking_glasses:


A few years ago I was at a tasting where we compared Macle and Puffeney alongside one of Ganevat’s higher end wines and an Initial from Selosse. To start off with Ganevat was the crowd please in a very high class sense very much fruit driven and about attack, Macle was intensely mineraly and need lots of time to unwind.

Puffeney at first seemed to go under but with time really blossomed, and was the most balanced. Strangely in terms of goign against strongly oxidised wines etc more than Selosse held its own.

We served the wines firstly with saucisse morteau with lentils and reblochon, a strange combination but it really works. Then with traditional Bresse Chicken with vin Jaune and Morels. With each wine and the champagne this was a killer combination.

I think to really understand Jura, one has to visit the region, really beautiful and to get the wines, one must really drink them with the local food.

My wife hates the oxidised whites so I don’t drink much but on returning from a visit, I bought some really young savagnins, these are reallyinteresting to drink, the fruit offsets the oxidised note and these are quite fun to drink.

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I don’t have enough experience with producers beyond Puffeney to weigh in on styles, but I’ve found that Vin Jaune begs to be drunk with food more so than any other variety. And can result in some of the absolute best wine-food pairings, bar none.

I completely agree that Vin Jaune really shines with food. I mean Vin Jaune and a proper 36 month aged Comte cheese… it doesn’t get much better.

But i have sometimes opened one and just been drinking it on its own slightly chilled. It honestly works very well if i am just in mood for a small glass as i can easily keep it in the fridge for many days (probably weeks, never got that far :grin:).