Jacques Puffeney Vin Jaune 2000
That Christmas comes but once a year is far less exciting than the Vacherin cheese that accompanies the occasion. I have made it a yearly tradition to buy a round of Vacherin, ripen it in my fridge, then open it with a Vin Jaune from the Jura. Last year I drank Tissot’s Vin Jaune. This year I brought back a bottle of Jacques Puffeney’s Vin Jaune from my trip to New York in the fall.
Vin Jaune and Vacherin represents the heart of regional pairing to me. Both are funky and strange and yet they marry perfectly, particularly when the Vacherin is very ripe. If you didn’t read last year’s post on Vin Jaune, it is basically a style of wine that ages similarly to Fino sherry, in that winemakers allow a film of yeast to grow over top of it as it ages. Given the wine’s partial oxidation and ridiculously high acids it is not unbelievable that some Vin Jaunes have been reported to age for 100 years.
Jacque Puffeney’s Vin Jaune is quite a bit different than Tissot’s. First, it is far less aggressive and it rolls around your palate like silk – a surprising thing for such an acidic and oxidative wine. The classic aromas and flavours of nuts, honey and hints of citrus come through, but it is the elegance and refinement of Puffeney’s version that makes it truly stand out.
This year’s Vacherin was not quite as good as last year’s, but the wine pairing worked better because I allowed the cheese to age for longer. As the cheese ages it gains intensity, which actually helps to balance out the Vin Jaune quite well. How good was it? Well let’s just say that I and 2 others finished the entire pound of cheese and the bottle of wine in about an hour.
$65 at Astor in NYC