Benoit Mulin 2011 Arbois Savagnin 750ml
Sherry-like notes of walnut, dried ginger and almond husk lead the way, followed by citrus oil, warm piecrust, apple skin and bitter orange accents. Distinctive, with good tension through the finish. Drink now through 2016. 112 cases imported. Score: 91 points –- JM, Wine Spectator, Jul 2014
This project of biodynamic Jura rockstar Stéphane Tissot and international man of intrigue and adventure, Benoît Mulin, is not to be confused with the Tissot's family business, Domaine André and Mireille Tissot. Originally established in 1997 by Stéphane and his wife Bénédicte in an historic, vaulted cellar built by France's Queen Jeanne in the 14th Century, the new partnership formed in 2009 with Professor Mulin (historian and disciple of Arbois' father of fermentation, Louis Pasteur) is based on the vineyards of a dozen conscientious grower friends.
The new venture required construction of a less-romantic, modern production facility on the outskirts of Arbois. The new winery, Le Cellier des Tiercelines, is situated within rifle scope of Stéphane's family estate, making duties at both wineries convenient for Tissot and enologist Jérôme Arnoux. This has been an ambitious undertaking for the Mulin-Tissot-Arnoux trio. They produce a full range of Jura wines including sparkling, dry whites and reds, Vin Jaune and Vin de Paille. They also counsel their récoltant-partners on alternative bio-friendly vine and soil treatments and determine when to prune, plough, and pick.
The 14th Century Reine Jeanne cellar is still an important asset for Mulin and Tissot as it is ideal for slow fermentation and barrel aging, and also leaves a memorable impression on professional visitors. Jeanne, Comtesse of Bourgogne and Valois, by the way, was married to King Philippe V (Philip The Tall) who reigned from 1316-1322. He was second son of the ruthless and powerful King Philippe IV (Philip The Fair) who was responsible for moving the Papal seat from Rome to France and abolishing the Order of the Knights Templar.
Harvest, wine making and breeding: Hand harvest, the grapes are de-stalked before pneumatic pressing and a slight clearing from mud. Spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeast in tanks followed by an ageing in 228-liter barrels on lees for 24 months, the wine is not ullaged under the veil of yeast. Bottled after a slight filtration. No added oenological products.
Tasting : Powerful wine with walnut, spices and celery aromas. Concentrated and long mouth with walnut flavor.
Culinary matches : As an “aperitif”, or as an accompaniment to slightly peppered oysters, curry or saffron dishes, mushrooms, white meat and Comté cheese.