After 20 odd months into the pandemic, my first winery visit was a slightly different visit to my usual Burgundy voyage, location: Pupillin, Jura. (c. 100km east of Beaune)
Domaine Bruyère & Houillon is one of the most sought-after producers in Jura, known for their elegant and pure whites and reds. Adeline Houillon and Renaud Bruyère founded the Domaine in 2011. Adeline is the sister of Emmanuel Houillon, who worked at Overnoy. Renaud started his career in wine in 2004 at Overnoy until 2007 (before that he was a chef), he then worked with Stephane Tissot for 8 years (2007-15) while starting Domaine Bruyère & Houillon in 2011.
All their wines are from their own vineyard, 100% biodynamic viticulture, very low yield and minuscule production. c. 2 hectares of Chardonnay, c. 1 hectare of Savagnin, c. 1 hectare of Poussard, 0.1 hectare of Trousseau. 4.3 hectares in total.
Arbois-Pupillin Ploussard 2020
The Ploussard are 100% hand destemmed, goes through semi-carbonic maceration in stainless steel tanks and are not filtered. Very light and transparent array of red cherries and wet stones. 2020 seems to yield elegant fruits and subtle tannins, no pigeage. A hint of potpourri on the finish, light yet satisfying. (87/100)
Arbois-Pupillin Ploussard 2021
Only a few months old and Renaud poured a sample from a jug. Huge frost in 2021, only 12hl/ha in 2021. Ultra-light bodied with soft bouquet of red cherries and sweet redcurrant. A pretty Ploussard.
Chardonnay Le Croix Rouge 2018
From a 2 hectare vineyard, 100% Chardonnay, 30 years old vines. Normally the chardonnay is aged in 228L barrel, but stainless steel was used in 2018 instead. Good energy and fine ripeness without the overpowering alcohol in some 2018 Jura. Clean and transparent array of white pears, citrus oil and plenty of salinity. Really satisfying mouthfeel, light bodied with a smooth finish. (89/100)
Les Tourillons Blanc 2018
80% Chardonnay / 20% Savagnin co-planted in a west-facing vineyard. Les Tourillons is located in Arbois, they own 0.7 hectare with average 60 years old vines, limestone soil. Phenomenal intensity and oomph. There is a slight warmth on the back-palate, 13.5% alcohol. Creamy citrus fruits and pineapples, bust of minerals, like licking on wet slates. Expansive on the palate, moreish. (88/100)
Savagnin Sous Voile 2013
An experimental Savagnin that they decided to make in 2013. Topped up every 10 days for 8 years. Very low yield of 4hl/ha in 2013 due to mildew and other disease. Only 1 barrel made and is not released (yet). Complex amora of overripe melon, voile, citrus oil and iodine. Rich and nutty. (88/100)
Ageability and Optimal Drinking Window
Renaud believes the optimal drinking window for their wine is between 5-10 years. Personally I enjoy wines on the fresher side and have no problem drinking their 2018 now (i.e. 3 years old).
To my disbelieve when I heard the current secondary market price of their wines, I immediately searched online to only find a couple of sources selling their wines at £300 to £600+ per bottle… would I recommend buying it at these extortionate prices? Probably not… However, I would highly recommend drinking them should you ever come across them on a wine list at a “reasonable” price.