This is a wine outside of your (and almost everyone’s) comfort zone. Slightly oxidized and dry-as-a-bone, you’d be hard pressed to find a white wine more outside today’s popular profile. First of all it’s from the eastern part of France in the Jura region, home to wines loved by only the geeky-ist of wine geeks, on top of that it’s an oxidized style of wine like the great Fino and Manzanilla wines of Spain’s woefully under-appreciated Sherry region. Unlike those great wines, it is not fortified, which makes it even more confusing as it just does not fit into any easy marketing category.
The 2006 Domaine de la Tournelle Fleur de Savagnin Arbois from vignerons Evelyne et Pascal Clariet is an extraordinary white wine. It is such an interesting and compelling wine that almost everyone you let taste this wine will hate it. However, if like Steve Martin in LA Story you, “let your mind go and your body will follow” - or in this case let your palate go and your body will follow, you will be treated to a wonderful glass of wine. Nutty and layered with endless layers of complexity, the firm dryness of this wine is almost jarring to palates numbed and dumbed by extremely fruity wines or those that claim dryness, but actually have significant residual sugar.
Just in case this wine needed something to confuse the drinker even more it’s made from the Savagnin variety, which as nothing to do with Sauvignon Blanc and may (or may not) be related to the traminer variety, more recently of Gewurz fame.
None of that matters for this is wine at its best: compelling, interesting, delicious and, most of all, unique and distinct to its variety, vineyard and tradition. What else matters?