Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Arbois, the most important appellation in the jura region in eastern France and named after the region’s main wine town. The scientist Louis pasteur was brought up in the town, and conducted observations here when invited to turn his attention to wine health. In the 20th century the town was made famous by wine producer Henri Maire, who did much for the revival of the Jura wine region after the Second World War and died in 2003. The wine company he founded still owns over 250 ha/618 acres of Jura’s vineyards but since 2010 it has been owned by a Luxembourg-based financial institution and quality had not yet been demonstrably revived by late 2014. About half of Arbois is red, making it the most important Jura red wine appellation. The light-coloured poulsard grape is a speciality of the subappellation of Arbois-Pupillin, where it is named Ploussard, and well-structured wines are made from trousseau in the warmer sites around the village of Montigny-les-Arsures. White wines are often varietal Chardonnay made in unoxidized, Burgundian style, increasingly vineyard-designated. The old synonym Naturé is sometimes used for the local savagnin, especially to designate fresh, lemony, or so-called ‘floral’ white wines made from the variety, distinguishing them from the more usual oxidative styles. The oxidative styles may be a blend of Savagnin with Chardonnay, or Savagnin on its own, and they culminate in the nutty and long-lived vin jaune. An Arbois 1774 was so much appreciated when tasted in 1994 that a second bottle was sold in 2011 for €57,000. vin de paille is made under the Arbois appellation, whereas traditional method sparkling wine made is sold as crémant du Jura. See also macvin du jura.