TN: 2017 Domaine de Montbourgeau - L'Etoile "En Banode" (France, Jura, L'Etoile)

2017 Domaine de Montbourgeau L’Etoile En Banode - France, Jura, L’Etoile (2/13/2023)
– 1st glass poured approx. 30 min. prior to initial taste –
– tasted non-blind over a few hours –
– Chardonnay & Savagnin –

NOSE: quite expressive, and showing very similar to a Fino sherry: flor, with a hint of bloomy rind cheese; a touch nutty; nail polish remover.

BODY: medium maize color; medium-light bodied.

TASTE: nutty; bloomy rind cheese rind; sherry-esque, but not as strong on the palate; hint of butterscotch; high acidity; speaks of flor more than it does fruit. Interesting, but not a rebuy. Ladd Cellars does a similar trick – but better – with their Cuvee Voile. Gut impression score: mid 80s.


Polarizing, those wines by Montbourgeau. I was quite positive on some whites that I had before, whereas other wine-friends dismissed them as something that would taste like if you accidentally drank paint-stripping liquid.

I haven’t really been impressed with Montbourgeau the few times i tasted any.

2017 was also a disaster vintage in Jura.

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Question, where do you find information about Jura wines? Specifically vintage info and newer producers, and information on changes in the region. Obviously, I follow Wink Lorch and read her book, but she doesnt update much.

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Nowhere really, even in French…

Word of mouth works pretty well here though!

It is sadly very difficult. You just have to find bits of information here and there.

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Yeah, this one definitely doesn’t inspire me to try any more. I feel I’d be better off just having a Fino.

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There are some really good, non Vin Jaune, “sous voile” wines from Jura that are worth seeking out. Macle, Tissot, Marnes Blanches, Labet and Ganevat all makes some great stuff at different price ranges. Even Claude Buchot’s rather cheap versions can be quite good in its price range.


Good to know. Thank you for the post and specific recommendations, Lasse. Cheers!


Completely agree with you here.

But aren’t most of these (excellent) producers famed especially for their ouillé wines? IIRC Ganevat doesn’t even make any sous voile wines apart from the ones that actually are labeled as Vin Jaune (or that Côtes du Jura Sous Voile that is, to my understanding, a bottling made if the wines don’t seem to be able to age long enough for a Vin Jaune). He has made some one-off sous voile versions of his single vineyard wines, but virtually all the other whites see no voile at all.

Most of these names have one or two labels of sous voile wines in their lineup, but I’d still rather seek them out for their exceptionally great ouillé wines and look for more traditionalist producers that concentrate their production on the traditional sous voile wines instead. After all, if you take a bottle of Ganevat, Labet or Tissot, most likely you’ll end up with an ouillé. Agree with Macle, though. Marnes Blanches seems pretty much split with the styles.

Some names that emphasize (or make exclusively) sous voiles: Amélie Guillot, Chevassu-Fassenet, Pignier, Rolet, Badoz and Xavier Reverchon. And of course good ol’ Puffeney, if you just manage to secure a bottle.

I’m not sure if the whites of Jean Bourdy are aged sous voile, but they aren’t really ouillé either - they’re aged for many years in oak barrels, becoming quite savory and oxidative - far removed from the typically more cleaner and fruitier ouillé wines. IIRC the same thing goes with Overnoy-Crinquand wines.


Michel Gahier is a producer whose wines I’ve found to be quite good. Made in the traditional style but with real finesse and elegance. He can somehow make this style of of wine seem pretty at moments.

Well you are right about everything in your post. Most of the names i mentioned are certainly more famed for and focused on their ouillé wines. But they all make great ‘sous voile’ wines as well, that are among the best i had in the genre. I also tend to focus more on their ouille wines, but these are definitely still worth seeking out.

Labet’s Cuvee du Hassard.
Marnes Blanches Empreinte.
Tissots Savagnin (his ouillé Savagnin is called Traminer).
Ganevat has made some different sous voile wines. Not sure what the pattern is - but they are good when i had one.
Buchot is more focused on the sous voile wines and makes various cuvées in the genre.

And now i didn’t mention Vin Jaune. I will say Tissots focus a lot more on his Vin Jaune wines these days. Labet and Ganevat makes some of the best out there.

Another wine that i like alot, which are rather cheap, is good old Domaine de la Pinte’s Cuvée d’Automne. It is a NV blend of wine that are vinified sous voile and ouillé.

I liked this wine a lot and found it super interesting. I bought 1 bottle to try it out and went back to buy 2 more.

Macle seems the obvious choice for easier to find sous voile wines, of course it’s not really obvious from the labels!

The one Ganevat I’m most curious to try is the Pepe, but I’ve no idea if other vintages were made after the 2005.

Tissots Tour Curon is both sous voile and ouille. :wink:

On the whole I find the non oxidative wines have far more utility at home so that’s what I focus on, with others being a rare treat.

Same here. I also feel that the sous voile wines i can buy are often “ready” for what i seek in them when purchased, where the ouillé wines can be more or less impossible to find with age. So it is much easier for me to bike to my local store and pick up a good sous voile wine.

My other (todays) pet issue is that producers who make both styles of wines often give little indication on the bottle (I’m looking at you Macle).

We get so excited over disgorgement dates and dosage with Champagne, but I have a Macle shelf and have largely forgotten the style of each bottle on it. :wink:

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Indeed, with these specific producers, I’d rather recommend specific wines like this than just the producer name - just because a good deal of their production is ouillé. If one were to pick up a random bottle based on your recommendation, it would be more likely an ouillé than a traditional sous voile wine.

I’ve had the 2008 and that is might still be the best Jura Chardonnay I’ve ever tasted. Not sure if there are any vintages after that, as Ganevat has seemed to be more and more reluctant to make any sous voiles. I think most of the Ganevat sous voile wines were made in the 00’s and now the only non-Vin Jaunes are the random Côtes du Jura Savagnin bottlings that didn’t make the cut.

Same here as well.

This is something we can only dream of here in Finland!

Spot On Otto!!

An interesting article about the topic.


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That is a fair comment. Didn’t think much about that as i rarely pick up bottles out without doing a little research on it myself hehe :slightly_smiling_face:

Yeah, me too.

However, seeing how many of my friends just write down recommendations without doing any background research, I’m always baffled why on earth they go for great producers yet still manage to pick up the single one lousiest cuvée / vintage / variety / whatever the producer has made.

They usually tell me that they remembered how I had recommended to check out this and that producer and this particular bottle seemed the most interesting (or, in the case of some people, the cheapest…)!