Peak Jura: Michel Gahier

09/28/22

Michel Gahier is one of our perennial favorites from Jura's Arbois.

His Trousseaus are at once strikingly fragrant yet full of the satisfying red fruit-meets-tea profile of the varietal. If you dig a little, you'll start seeing the name Puffeney pop up in the pedigree and providence of some of the reds. His whites, all from Chardonnay or its local mutation Melon le Queue Rouge, are equally as delicious. Half are made classically (sous voile), while the others (including a new cuvee "Lou") are non-oxidative (ouillé). The family domaine is 6.5 hectares with a majority of their vineyards in Montigny-les-Arsures, the spiritual homeland for Trousseau.

Put simply this is a lineup we love seeing each year and if you love the wines of the Jura, you'll love the wines of Michel Gahier. Highlights on each cuvée below!

REDS:

Le Clousot: Made with the youngest vines at the domaine, this is the lightest and easiest of Gahier's Trousseau from Montigny-les-Arsures.

La Vigne du Louis:  This vineyard in Montigny has a northeast exposure which requires a harvest later than other “cru” reds. Vines are fifty years old, and Gahier likes this cuvée with about four or five years of age.

Les Grands Vergers: Perhaps Gahier’s greatest red, the vines here are sixty to seventy years old and the soil is heavily “marl”. The vines are on a gentle slope with superb exposure to the sun. The result is a classic Trousseau.

WHITES:

Les Follasses: The soil in this single vineyard site in Montigny is a typical clay/limestone mix. Gahier leaves this wine under a layer of yeast (“sous voile”) for a more extended period of time than the “Les Crets,”. The result is a stirring push and pull of texture, acid and all those beautiful secondary base notes we love.

Les Crets: The grapes for this cuvée are sourced from a hilltop vineyard (Les Crets meaning “crest of the hill”) where Chardonnay has been grafted onto the rootstock of the local grape variety known as “Melon Queue Rouge”. The wine is aged for about fifteen months in large foudre then racked into the smaller format demi-muid for another year of aging.

La Fauquette: Again from a single vineyard in Montigny, this cuvée is aged for a year in large foudres then racked into smaller barrels for an additional three years “sous voile”. Although it's called Chardonnay, the vines here are of the local variety “Melon Queue Rouge” which is a white grape whose skin color bleeds toward red closer to the stem.

NON-OXIDATIVE WHITES:

'Lou Blanc': A new cuvée last vintage, Gahier here shows that he can master all styles of the Jura. Coming off of its limestone vineyard, this wine is made in the ‘ouillé’ style where the barrels are topped up during aging so the wine doesn't oxidize (and better shows its crunchy soils). The result is a beautifully bright driven wine with a lanolin note to remind you where you are.