My last article was about a return visit to Elie Wine Company in Birmingham, Michigan and Elie sponsored a wonderful dinner at Selden Standard in Midtown Detroit. The wines featured for the tasting were all from Domaine Jean Bourdy from the Jura district of France and featured Jean-Francis Bourdy as our guest host and speaker. It was a pleasure to go to Selden Standard, my Bride had already been there on business, but it was my first time there, and it is one of the “hot” new restaurants in Detroit. In the old days there was Mario’s and a couple of blocks away was the Snug which morphed into The Traffic Jam and Snug, and back then you kept the windows up and the doors locked, as there was really nothing else of interest, now the area is bustling with all types of restaurants and retail in the district.
This evening will be broken up into three parts, because I will be following the menu and the wines and there is so much to cover. I had never had the fortune of trying any of the wines from the Jura, in all of the years that I have been tasting wines. In fact in preparation for the dinner, I went to two of my “go-to” reference books ahead of time and there was very little written about the area, but the books are both from 1971, so I guess I need some newer “go-to” books. The Jura district is located between the Burgundy region and Switzerland and is known for some unique wines, varietals and their own wine bottle, the clavelin, a special squat bottle that is their signature.
Caves Jean Bourdy is one of the oldest Domaines in the Jura, created in the late 1400’s and now run by brothers Jean-Phillipe and Jean-Francois, the fifteenth generation of winemakers for the estate. They own twenty-four acres, including one acre in Chateau-Chalon AOC (the name of the village). Caves Jean Bourdy make the wines in an old fashioned, time honored way, using old barrels, some up to eighty years old for fermentation and aging, and by using old barrels the barrels are inert and do not impart anything extra to the wine. The Domaine is known for their extensive library of wines, red wines dating back to 1926, white wines from 1911, and wines from Chateau-Chalon from 1865; and all totally enjoyable to drink. The main varietals grown by the Domaine are Poulsard, Pinot Noir, Trousseau, Chardonnay and Savignin. The next couple of articles will actually discuss the different wines that we tasted through the course of the meal, and I do have to mention that this was considered my “birthday” dinner by my Bride and she is still so good to me.