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Country of Origin: France
Location: Arbois, Jura
People: Jacques Puffeney, Owner & Winemaker
Jaques Puffeney’s name has become synonymous with the entrancing wines of the Jura and his growing following has placed his cuvées among the most sought-after of the region
Jacques Puffeney's father was a vineyard worker who owned a mere speck of land in the village of Montigny-Les-Arsures (just around the corner from Arbois). Jacques made his first wine at the age of 17 but, to earn a living, he worked simultaneously as a saleur de Comté helping to make the fabled cheese of his region. Over time the Puffeney family acquired vineyards in Montigny and the surrounding villages and now the domaine encompasses 7.5 hectares, all in the appellation of Arbois. Jacques Puffeney’s prowess in both the vineyards and the cave has been recognized throughout France and has earned him the nickname among his colleagues of "the Pope of Arbois."
The vineyards are situated in the villages of Montigny Les Arsures, Arbois, and Villette des Arbois. Four and one-half hectares are planted to white varieties: 2.7 hectares to the extraordinary local grape, Savagnin; and 1.8 hectares to Chardonnay. The remaining 3 hectares are devoted to a series of red grapes: 1.2 hectares planted to Poulsard (also known locally as Ploussard); 1.2 hectares dedicated to Trousseau; and Pinot Noir is found in the final .60 hectares. Montigny Les Arsures is recognized as the prime site for the Trousseau grape in the Jura, and the village proudly proclaims its status as "the capital of Trousseau."
The harvest, which normally begins in late September, is done manually. It commences most often with the Chardonnay, then the Poulsard, followed by Pinot Noir and Trousseau; finally, the Savagnin is picked at the close of the season, which sometimes can extend into November.
The reds are fermented in cuve (steel tank) and are then racked into foudres (not new) where the malolactic fermentation takes place. The reds are aged at least two years and sometimes longer (up to 30 months in some cases) in barrel, the length of time depending upon the structure of the vintage. The white wines are treated in the most traditional fashion of the Jura, left to age in barrel (foudres and barriques) for extended periods without topping up so as to encourage the development of the oxidative characteristics that define the best of the classic Jura wines. Jacques Puffeney does not fine or filter any of his wines.
Wine-Searcher.com: D'Angerville Takes on Jura's Puffeney Vineyards
MensJournal: A Wine with the Perfect Flaw
Imbibe: Drink of the Wee: Jacques Puffeney Pinot Noir Arbois
The New York Times Diner's Journal: Get Funky