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Pauline & Géraud Fromont

Les Marnes Blanches

VigneronPauline & Géraud Fromont
LocationSainte-Agnès (Jura)
Size of Domaine12 ha
TerroirContinental climate. Varied soils of white and red marls, limestone and gryphées. West to south facing slopes. 250-330m altitude.
ViticultureCertified Organic (Ecocert)
View Les Marnes Blanches wines ↓

Natives of the Jura, both Pauline and Géraud’s families owned tiny plots (used to make wine for home consumption) and spending time in the vines in their childhood was enough to give them the wine bug.

The couple met while studying winemaking in Dijon and created Domaine des Marnes Blanches when they returned to the Jura in 2006.

They farmed organically from the word go and have added parcels (some they planted) along the way to reach a total of 12ha today, spread across four villages in the Sud-Revermont. Cesancey, their first acquisition, is home to the white marl after which the domaine is named, while Gevingey, Vincelles and Ste-Agnès have more varied soil types, the majority being red marl and gryphées (limestone rich in fossils).

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They recently built a functional winery off the main road in Ste-Agnès which gives them plenty of space and allows them to vinify and age every parcel separately. Wild yeast fermentation is the norm, whites are fermented in stainless steel and aged in minimum 4yo 228 to 500ltr barrels, reds are vinified through 'semi-carbo' with whole bunches in fibreglass then aged in wooden foudres. Sulphur is used sparsely for the whites (added once following soutirage pre-bottling – total around 25mg/l), and not at all for the reds.

When it comes to white wines, their range concentrates on topped up chardonnay and savagnin, but they also offer good value Vin Jaune and Vin de Paille. From the 2016 vintage Pauline and Géraud have been selecting barrels of chardonnay and savagnin for longer ageing (often 24 months instead of the usual 10-12) and bottling as 'mise tardive'. Some cuvées are therefore released twice.

It is also worth adding that Géraud responded to the loss to frost of 90% of their 2017 production by setting up a micro-brewery along with another of our suppliers Guillaume Overnoy. This helps the domaine to make ends meet when the weather intervenes adversely e.g. 2021.

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The Labets joining for a tasting at Marnes Blanches

Les Marnes Blanches Wines

Les Marnes Blanches

CÔTES-DU-JURA 2020
Les Molates
100% Chardonnay (12.5% alc.)

Lieu-dit Les Molates, assemblage of different parcels on Lias marls in Gevingey (2.3ha), 35yo vines (on average) facing west. Aged in foudres with no bâtonnage, it was bottled in July the following year. This is a very well-balanced wine, with zesty lemony fruit and is the first of the Marnes Blanches chardonnays to open out.

Les Marnes Blanches

CÔTES-DU-JURA 2020
Les Molates
100% Savagnin (13% alc.)

In the village of Gevingey, lieu-dit Les Molates (as per the chardonnay), 0.7ha of 25yo savagnin jaune vines. Aged in old foudres for 11 months, it is spot on with classic confit lemon flavours and notable bitters on the finish. Intensity, density and length typical of savagnin ouillé from the Sud-Revermont.

Les Marnes Blanches

CÔTES-DU-JURA 2019
En Quatre Vis
100% Chardonnay (12.5% alc.)

A selection of west-facing 50yo vines in shallow Lias marls in Cesancey. This wine, formerly called Vieilles Vignes, was aged in 500ltr barrels for two years (mise tardive, see profile) and is denser, more powerful, complex and age-worthy than Molates.

Les Marnes Blanches

CÔTES-DU-JURA 2020
En Quatre Vis
100% Savagnin (13% alc.)

Savagnin vert variety that comes from the same Cesancey 40yo vineyard as the chardonnay En Quatre Vis. A stunning age-worthy wine with drive and tension, Géraud comments that the acid backbone is typical of the savagnin vert strain. Aged in foudres and concrete eggs for a year, it has exceptional balance, real class, and a spicier nose compared to Les Molates. On the palate, it offers stewed citrus fruits and gentle bitters on a lengthy finish. For drinking now to 2028.

Les Marnes Blanches

CÔTES-DU-JURA 2019
Les Normins
100% Chardonnay (13.5% alc.)

One of Marnes Blanches’ top wines, Les Normins is made from 65yo vines on iron-rich, fossilised red limestone in the village of Vincelles. The limestone gives an extra peps, energy and class to the wine, that was aged in 5yo 500ltr barrels for two years. It has a briny, iodine quality, and a buttery fruit that puts one in mind of serious wine from the Côte de Beaune. For drinking now to 2026.

Les Marnes Blanches

CÔTES-DU-JURA 2019
En Levrette
100% Chardonnay (13% alc.)

60yo vines from old massal selection, tip top 'matériel végétal' as per the nearby Les Normins. Top of the coteau in the lieu-dit En Levrette, there's not much topsoil with the roots getting deep into the iron-rich limestone bedrock. Two years ageing in old foudres and 500ltr barrels. Another class wine from Pauline and Géraud, deep and textural with lovely limestone-induced bitters, a lengthy and complex finish on vanilla pods and confit citrus flavours. For drinking now to 2026.

Les Marnes Blanches

CÔTES-DU-JURA 2019
Aux Bois
100% Savagnin (13% alc.)

Aux Bois is located in the village of Vincelles as per Les Normins and En Levrette. This wine is made from south-facing vines planted in 2014 with top massal selections of savagnin vert and jaune from Arbois. A small proportion of old vines from a tiny neighbouring plot gets into the blend. Two years ageing on fine lees in 7-12yo 228ltr barrels. An impactful savagnin that retains minerality and typicity despite the young vines, this cuvée will become a reference at the domaine in the years to come.

Les Marnes Blanches

VIN JAUNE 2014
100% Savagnin (14% alc.)

Savagnin jaune from Les Molates lieu-dit (see white wines). Aged in 10 to 20yo 228ltr barrels, stored on the first floor of their house with windows opened to the elements throughout the year, it was bottled after almost 7 years sous voile. This is an elegant, forward and 'user-friendly' style of Vin Jaune, with excellent fruit that is not covered up by the oxidative notes. You can drink the wines with great pleasure in their youth, but they’ll age too and develop extra complexity – an amazing value for money.

Les Marnes Blanches

CÔTES-DU-JURA 2020
100% Poulsard (11% alc.)

Young vines planted with a massal selection from Domaine Overnoy (Orbagna) that was originally planted with poulsard from Pierre Overnoy (Pupillin). 100% whole bunches, 15 days semi-carbo maceration, ageing in old foudres and bottling without SO2. The wine offers an herbal and fresh nose, a round and floral mouthfeel with ripe strawberries and pink peppercorn flavours. This is a characterful poulsard with low ABV and high drinkability.

Les Marnes Blanches

CÔTES-DU-JURA 2020
100% Trousseau (11.5% alc.)

Young vines planted in 2014 in the different terroir and villages. Géraud made a tiny quantity, enhancing freshness of fruit via whole bunches and a short cuvaison of 10/12 days. A very pale colour, extraction was clearly very delicate, but the wine has weight and some grip, and a very perfumed retro-nasal quality.

Les Marnes Blanches

CÔTES-DU-JURA 2020
100% Pinot Noir (11% alc.)

The plots are in the En Quatre Vis lieu-dit (see white wines), one 40yo parcel as well as vines planted in 2017/18. Vinified, aged and bottled as per the other two reds from Marnes Blanches. Pale-coloured, it is juicy, fresh and vibrant with high-toned red fruits and herbal flavours.

Les Marnes Blanches

CÔTES-DU-JURA 2014
Vin de Paille
50% Savagnin, 50% Chardonnay (14% alc, 90g/l of rs)

After drying the grapes on beds of straw in small wooden baskets in their ‘grenier’, Gérard and Pauline pressed the raisin like grapes at the end of winter, and fermentation then ticked away slowly in old barrels during a three-year élevage. Sometimes we find too much alcohol burn in vin de paille but this example is well-balanced offering a lovely freshness, with sumptuous quince and orange marmalade flavours. For drinking to 2024.

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