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Intro: Arbois

Lucien Aviet in Arbois makes excellent wines that have found a real following amongst our restaurant customers. Now in his late seventies and practically retired, his son Vincent is now in charge.  The Aviet family are one of the stars of the region, but French restaurants rarely sell their wines because like Macle, 97% are sold direct from the cave to private customers. It was thanks to Laurent Macle that we first came across Aviet - it is Laurent's view that Aviet makes Jura’s finest reds. Indeed Aviet are one of the few Trousseau specialists in the region, making no less than three cuvées of Trousseau from specific terroirs. Lucien learnt about good viticulture and its influence on wines alongside Pierre Overnoy under the tutelage of Jules Chauvet. All his vines are old and from Arbois’ finest terroirs, planting is by massale selection, the finest root stock is used, soils are ploughed and yields are low. Ageing in old foudres is very patient leading to stable wines which have little need of the support of sulphur.

Jacques Puffeney has always been a master of the region’s oxidized whites, slowly aged under a veil of yeast (voile), but right up to his retirement after the 2014 vintage never sat on his laurels, and in his final few vintages produced some exceptional topped up wines. He will continue to sell over the coming years all the wines he made up to and including the 2014 vintage.

With vineyards in some prime sites in Arbois, it was only a matter of time before André-Jean Morin – AJ for his mates – decided to leave the local Arbois Fruitière co-op, to start Domaine de la Touraize. The Morin have been vinegrowers from father to son since 1650, bottling their production for the most part till AJ’s grandfather joined the co-op when he returned from the World War One. Traumatised by the horrors of the war, he came back to neglected vineyards and reluctantly hung up his winemaking boots and sold most of his vineyards, keeping the Touraize parcel only. AJ’s dad, though he stayed with Arbois Fruitière, went on a buying spree to bring the total vineyard up to 12ha.

AJ recently converted the entire domaine to organic farming. The whites are whole bunch pressed, cold settled for 24h and then moved to stainless steel tanks until the start of fermentation, at which point they’re transferred to 600L used barrels for the rest of the fermentation and élevage. The reds are handled very carefully, both poulsard and trousseau are destemmed by hand but while the grapes are left intact for the poulsard’s fermentation, the trousseau is foot trodden lightly at the start and macerated on the skins for about 30 days on average to soften the tannins. It then spends a year in 600L used demi-muids. The poulsard on the other hand is aged in stainless steel and bottled in spring.

Organic & Bio-dynamic

See our list of organic and bio-dynamic growers.