Visit at Bacchus'
Lucien Aviet in
Jura, December 2002
[ german - deutsch ]
Jura is on of the most individual and traditional wine regions of France. Its wines, in opposite to others, didn't assimilate to the common popular stile. Jura wines need time, and time is perhaps demanded from the wine consumers who aren't accustomed to this speciality. But once one has discovered it, one hardly can let it go - especially concerning the native fascinating white-wine-vine Savagnin which is supposed to be a relative of the Alsatian 'Gewürztraminer'. The most long-lived wines are produced of it. In Jura 'long-lived' means 50-100 years and perhaps more.
This year we visited a man who is know in the region as Bacchus which shows the awe that others stand of him and how fond he himself is of wine making. Montigny-les-Arsures lies only a stone's throw away of the Jura-capitol Arbois, some miles in north-eastern direction.
Bacchus Lucien Aviet welcomed us in his cellar. In the middle of the entrance hall that led to the storage cave a wood-burning stove was placed. And its pipe went throug the whole room leading to the wall. On top of the stove there was a pot with water for the humidity. Thus the cellar of Aviet almos appeared to be a living-room, of course a few degrees colder.
We degusted Aviet's selection: The reds: an appealing Poulsard and a strong Trousseau. The whites: a Chardonnay and the Savagnin - the normal one and the Vin Jaune. Lucien Aviet offered us along with the wines some Comté and walnuts - perfectly going with the Savagnin.
Only Gorki, the dog, didn't seem to be interested in the wines. When its master gave it some walnuts of course it suddenly was awake ...
The Trousseau was our favourite among the reds. We tasted the Arbois Réserve du Caveau Cuvée des Géologues 2000, a Jura-red that lasts for ten years without problem - Aviet still has in his private cellar some 71's and he surely is going to drink them with great pleasure. But even now with its typical own stile it is fun drinking it. When it is young it has a taste of strawberry, apple and shows fine tannin and a good structure.
Aviet has a good Chardonnay, but the Savagnin is more interesting. Also made in the normal stile - we tasted the Arbois Réserve du Caveau 2000 - it will open up throughout the years. Young it is very fruity and still has some yeast in its fine nut like taste. The colour is bright yellow.
Aviet's Vin Jaune is one of the most intense which we so fare have tasted. The vintage 1995 Arbois Vin Jaune Cuvée de la Confrérie has a very good fruit and for Vin Jaune typical aromas of walnut, apple and straw. It still is closed at the moment and one only can imagine how it can become. It has the potential for a great wine, and passing time will make it better and better.
All of Aviet's wine bottles are sealed with wax in which each vintage is stamped. Caveau Bacchus; like the vinter himself also his wines appear - there is no haste in them, but something outstanding that slowly opens up and makes life worthwhile.
Nikolai Vogel & Kilian Fitzpatrick