Here we are again banging on about a producer making standout wine in an already competitive region, who, if you don't already know about, you should. Fabrice Dodane, the affable and gregarious human behind Domaine de Saint-Pierre and Le Dos D'Chat began his journey by studying oenology at the Beaune and went straight to work as a winemaker and vineyard manager in 1989 for the domaine he now owns/runs. After transitioning the vineyards to certified organics, implementing a fully lo-fi approach in cellar he's part of a small group of discerning producers, which includes Jean-Francois Ganevat, who push the boundaries, making stunning, profound and complex wines. Another darling of the natural wine world? Yes, indeed.
But, let's just stop and take a moment to acknowledge the change the Jura and other regions are going through as a result of climate change. As one of, if not the, smallest winemaking region in France, producers in the Jura are highly reliant on the climate - cold winters and warm dry summers - for their livelihood. However, with the shift in well, everything, winters are devastatingly warmer and summers hotter and not always dry. While this isn't the greatest for the Jura's white wine yields, there is a silver lining for the reds - pinot noir, trousseau and ploussard. They are still fresh and highly drinkable but are now more concentrated. Like other winemakers in the region, Fabrice has had to adapt to the sweeping change by starting a neogicant label. The grapes are all from likeminded friends with exacting standards from Jura and further afield.
Fabrice's latest release sees four insanely good reds - three real winners from Le Dos D'Chat in the form of trousseau, ploussard (in amphora) and syrah. For Fabrice, these are more on the "glou glou" side but they're anything but simple. They're highly drinkable and show an absolute deft hand in cellar. The fourth red, Le Rouge 2017, from Domaine de Saint-Pierre, is a profound pinot/ploussard blend (85/15 to be exact). Vibrant, elegant, light yet powerful. Now, where's the charcuterie? Last, but definitely not least is our lord and saviour, a savagnin. Savagnin Autrement 2017 is Frabrice's more modern take on savagnin. Topped up it's got that salty, crushed seashell, minerally buzzing acidity thing going on that we just froth. It's been held back so you know it's a goodie