Selden Standard in Detroit had the perfect room off to the side for a private wine tasting dinner conducted by Elie Boudt of Elie Wine Company. We were going to try many offerings from Domaine Jean Bourdy from the Jura region of France, and the guest speaker was Jean-Francois Bourdy, one two brothers representing the fifteenth generation of this winery.
Prior to the actual dinner while waiting for all of the guests to arrive, there was a reception with our waiter offering poached pears and goat cheese. The wine that was being poured during this period was Bourdy Cremant du Jura NV. This was a charming sparkling wine made from Chardonnay grapes, and my Bride must have told me several times in a row, how much she enjoyed this wine and that we should get some for the holidays to serve. Great praise right out of the gate and I am sure that her wish will be fulfilled.
As we sat down for the actual dinner, and we were sitting at two long tables, the end chairs were set up, so that our hosts could rotate among everyone to discuss some of the wines during the tasting. We started off with appetizers placed on the tables to share of Halloumi and roasted peppers with olives, grapes and espellette. The accompanying pour was actually an aperitif Bourdy Macvin du Jura. The Macvin was made from all five varietals grown on the estate; Chardonnay, Savagnin, Pinot Noir, Trousseau and Poulsard. It is a mixture of the grape juice and Marc de Franche-Comte (an eau de vie or brandy) and the French laws require that both parts must be made from the grapes of the same estate. This was a very subtle drink that paired well with the appetizer.
Our next course was plates of Duck Sausage with autumn vegetables, fish sauce and fried shallots. This course was paired with Bourdy Cotes du Jura “Savagnin” 2009. The Savagnin is the star varietal of the Jura and the wine is aged for four to five years in old barrels. I noticed that on the website that the Domaine was offering the 2007 vintage, so we were actually getting a sneak peek at an early offering. This wine should be opened three to four hours prior to serving, and it can be cellared for ages, which is not the usual case with most white wines. While the wine by itself has a nutty Sherry flavor to it, against the spicy duck sausage, one could really appreciate the subtle sweetness of the fruit.
The last course of the meal that I will discuss here was a Rabbit Ragu on Cavatelli, with house ricotta and pistachios. We had the only red wine for the evening with this dish, which was Bourdy Cotes du Jura Rouge 2010. This wine was made from Pinot Noir, Poulsard and Trousseau grapes that are aged in barrels for three to four years before bottling. This was another example of a sneak preview, as the winery is just now offering this wine from the 2008 vintage. This wine was recommended to open two to three hours before serving and it was suggested that it can be cellared for fifty to sixty years. It was perfect paired with rabbit, which can be fussy to select the proper wine with. My next article will be about the balance of the meal and the star wines that were offered, with a special surprise pour.