La Gravière, Anne et Jean-Francois Ganevat

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La Gravière, 2018, Anne et Jean-Francois Ganevat

A true and pure representation of ‘graviére’ (gravel) from natural wine royalty

Region: Jura, France
Grape(s): Chardonnay
Genre: Organic and natural
Low Sulphur: Yes
Tasting Notes: Opulent citrus and stone fruits, nutty, flinty, textural

Jean-Francois Ganevat is the 14th generation of his family to be making wines in Rotalier, southern Jura. Having learnt his craft working in the cellar of Jean-Marc Morey in Burgundy, he returned to Jura – the region east of Burgundy, close to the border with Switzerland – in 1998. He converted the estate to organic and then biodynamic in 2006. He makes approximately 45 wines, all single terroir wines highlighting the variation in soil types and how these lead to vastly different wines and drinking experiences. The domaine is only 8.5 hectares, with very old low-yielding vines, so he has a large negociant side to his winemaking – where he buys grapes from trusted grape growers, both in Jura and slightly further afield, who have similar philosophies as him in their vineyard work. He is one of the most renowned and sought after natural wine producers, and we are very lucky to have received a small allocation of a couple of his wines.

La Gravière uses 100% Chardonnay from 60 year old vines planted on blue marl with gravel top soil. These soil types make life difficult for the vines and their hard work to get what they need brings out a real tension and minerality in the wine, with increased acidity from the acid composition in the marl. It is fermented in old oak barrels and aged in large wooden vats for 30 months with the lees to add texture, richness and complexity. It has a reductive whiff when first opened, that quickly blows off to a beautiful array of citrus, ripe pear, white pepper, macadamia, flint, struck match, toasted brioche and pencil sharpenings - a true joy.