La Ferme de Jeanne Bugey Pinot Noir 2021
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Press 4 Red • May 2023 Direct Press Selection
Much of Bugey's vineyard land was replanted in the second half of the 20th century with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Gamay instead of favoring local varieties that were considered too difficult and inconsistent, as Poulsard, Mondeuse, and Altesse were thought to be. It's not the worst news in terms of the region's ability to craft stupidly delicious, unpretentious wines, however.
Ferme de la Jeanne is a nine hectare operation that was started in 1981 and originally had a mix of vines, cereals, and fruits. The wines were only sold at local markets but had become so popular that Jacqueline and Yves Balsollier made wine the full-time focus of the farm. Now owned by Regis and Lynn Bernard, the estate is organic and in conversion to biodynamics. The wines are made by Nadège Allouch, and she is upholding the approach of humble country wines that overdeliver. This Pinot Noir is a subtle, light affair, but it is hugely satisfying. Ethereal with soft mineral texture and beautiful threads of umami, it is one you can chill down, and maybe one you save all for yourself. Jonathan Kemp