The Jura has been the region-to-watch for a few years now, with interest in the terroir’s experimental vintners on the rise among some of the most on-trend wine enthusiasts. Savoie, on the other hand, remains somewhat under the radar, but we’ve still had some noteworthy auction results.
Domaine des Miroirs, Domaine des Murmures, Bruyère-Houillon: these are just some of the names that have been livening up our auctions for a couple of years now, bringing a breath of fresh air to what is often a question of tradition and prestige. However, these three domains, founded relatively recently, have only just begun to measure up to the previously unbeatable Domaine Overnoy. This estate has been a standard-bearer for both the Jura region and the natural movement for years, seemingly playing leagues above its neighbouring producers in terms of renown and auction results. For Overnoy to have been overtaken this time by the Domaine des Miroirs – a 2015 I Need the Sun cuvée which sold for €1,903 – is a first! The wine in question is a Chardonnay ouillé (non-oxidative) which has dethroned Overnoy’s vin jaune, a cuvée that’s become rather used to the top spot and has this year gone under the hammer for €1,412.
Whilst the 2016 Trousseau from Domaine des Murmures has held onto its third place on the regional podium, it’s clear to see that its prices have made quite a jump, increasing from €737 in 2020 to €982 this year. This is, thus, an estate on the precipice of the symbolic €1,000 mark for its finest cuvée…
The other outstanding estate we mentioned, Domaine Bruyère-Houillon, has moved from 10th to 7th position in the ranking, this time with a red wine: a 2018 Arbois-Pupillin Poulsard En Apsis, which auctioned for €307.
It’s interesting to note that these three domains, as well as Ganevat, have performed well with their ouillé and red cuvées. This is notable in the Jura, where the traditional wines made are vins jaunes, often at the heart of a domain’s production.
Mature vins jaunes take the lion’s share
Whilst the region’s vins jaunes don’t occupy the top places in our ranking this time, the Jura’s viticultural pride and joy still takes nine of the 20 places in the ranking, the biggest share of any wine category. Vins de paille come next, a rare example of dessert wines finding themselves among the highest-priced cuvées – followed by reds and ouillé whites. Vins jaunes are particularly coveted in their more mature vintages at the moment, especially those that date from 1980 to 1990.
The Jura’s natural recipe for success
This region has long been ahead of the curve when it comes to organic and biodynamic wine thanks to the pioneering work of emblematic vintners like Overnoy, Ganevat, and Tissot. We’re now getting to see the next-generation effects of their work, with inspired new producers finding their feet in the industry. As the birthplace of natural wine (along with the Beaujolais), the Jura region is home to some of the finest producers of the movement. These three kinds of production all feature in the ranking, with connoisseurs placing top bids from experienced markets including France, Hong Kong, the US, Belgium, Sweden, and the UK.
Strength in diversity
Whilst Savoie doesn’t have the same level of notoriety or desirability as the Jura, it has all the right elements to become so: fine terroir, regional specialties, a great variety of native grapes and a handful of high-quality producers. These more distinguished domains tend to be run organically or biodynamically, and they’ve started to build a name for themselves among groups of keen enthusiasts. Our ranking of top Savoie wines gives a good overview of the region’s diversity: both white and red wines feature, as well as a variety of local grapes. There are cuvées made from Mondeuse, Persan, Altesse (or Roussette de Savoie), and Chasselas, alongside Chardonnay and Roussanne.
Flying the flag for Savoie
There is a particular estate to which the region owes much in terms of its wine reputation: Domaine du Prieuré Saint Christophe, created by Michel Grisard in the 1970s and now run by the Giachino brothers. The domain’s 2003 Mondeuse Prestige cuvée went under the hammer this year for €442. That might not seem particularly impressive when compared with top bottles in the neighbouring Jura, and especially not when we consider the astronomical hammer prices of Burgundy’s finest. However, the 2nd highest-priced Savoie wine auctioned for €60; the 2014 Améthyste cuvée from Domaine des Ardoisières.
Indeed, Domaine des Ardoisières, Gilles Berlioz, and Dominique Belluard make up a star trio for Savoie, crafting coveted wines that find themselves in top restaurants and wine bars. The natural movement is also taking a hold in the region, giving domains the chance to find success through a younger generation of eco-conscious and curious wine drinkers.
Savoie has a bit of a way to go to catch up with France’s most impressive wine regions, but we’ve observed some real progress in terms of its presence and success at auction.
Top Jura bottles: first-half 2021
|1||White||Vin de France I Need The Sun 2015 Domaine des Miroirs||€1,903|
|2||White||Arbois Pupillin Vin jaune 1990 Pierre Overnoy||€1,412|
|3||Red||Vin de France Trousseau 2016 domaine des Murmures||€982|
|4||White||Côtes du Jura Les Vignes de mon Père 2005 Jean-François Ganevat||€577|
|5||Red||Vin de France Trousseau Robert Est Un Con Jean Marc Brignot||€553|
|6||White||Château-Chalon 1976 M. Perron||€350|
|7||Red||Arbois Pupillin Ploussard En Aspis 2018 Adeline Houillon & Renaud Bruyère||€307|
|8||White||Château-Chalon 2005 Jean Macle||€258|
|9||White||Arbois Vin de Paille 2003 Jacques Puffeney||€258|
|10||White||Château-Chalon 1987 Durand-Perron||€233|
|11||Dessert white||Côtes du Jura Vin de Paille 1989 Jean Bourdy||€196|
|12||White||Arbois Vin Jaune 1991 Jacques Tissot||€165|
|13||White||Arbois Vin Jaune 1967 Pierre et Georges Bouilleret||€147|
|14||Dessert white||Arbois Vin de Paille 1985 Domaine de la Pinte||€147|
|15||White||Côtes du Jura Chardonnay La Reine 2016 Labet||€129|
|16||White||Château-Chalon 1982 Hubert Clavelin||€125|
|17||Dessert white||Côtes du Jura Vin de Paille 1990 Marie-Claude Robelin||€125|
|18||White||Château-Chalon 1990 Berthet-Bondet||€123|
|19||White||Côtes du Jura Vin jaune 1990 Château d’Arlay||€123|
|20||Dessert white||Côtes du Jura Vin de Paille 1998 François Mossu||€120|
Top Savoie wines: first-half 2021
|1||Red||Vin de Savoie Mondeuse Prestige2003 Domaine Prieuré Saint Christophe||€442|
|2||Red||IGP Vin des Allobroges – Cevins Améthyste 2014 domaine des Ardoisières||€60|
|3||White||Vin de Savoie Chignin-Bergeron Les Christine 2015 Gilles Berlioz||€59|
|4||White||Vin de Savoie Les Grandes Jorasses 2009 Domaine Belluard||€56|
|5||Red||AOP Vin de Savoie Chautagne Mondeuse 2009 Jacques Maillet||€49|
|6||Red||IGP Vin des Allobroges Mondeuse Côte Pelée 2008 Jean-Yves Péron||€43|
|7||Red||Vin de Savoie Arbin Mondeuse 1990 Charles Trosset||€41|
|8||White||Vin de Savoie Roussette Marestel Altesse Dupasquier 2004||€36|
|9||White||Vin de France Terroir du Leman Amphore 2019 Les Vignes du Paradis||€34|
|10||White||Vin de France Chardonnay Kataphna 2015 Domaine du Perron Francois Grinand||€33|