Domaine Bornard

Wines from the Jura are one of the hottest ticket items in wine bars across the globe at present. Why has this obscure wine producing region known mainly for the aged, yellow, savoury Vin Jaune become so popular?

Perhaps it was the flavoursome Savagnin white wines or the delicious Chardonnays that brought it to the forefront, or perhaps it is a reaction to the heavy reds of Australia and the United States with drinkers preferring the lighter, more expressive styles of the Ploussard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir wines from here.

Big changes have occurred in the Bornard domaine over the past couple of years. Philippe has retired and his talented son Tony has taken over the operation with little fuss and with few observable differences for outsiders.

Tony is a meticulous operator both in the vineyard and in the winery. He has a very clear vision about what he wants to achieve and how he is going to achieve it.

The winery and many of the vineyards are in the quaint commune of Pupillin which is quite close to Arbois near the Swiss border. Tony is building a new winery in this village so that his father’s house will no longer be given over to the winemaking operations.

The wines cover two appellations. The first is the broader Cotes du Jura appellation and then most of the wines are from the tiny Arbois Pupillin appellation which only applies to grapes grown in the commune of Pupillin. You will notice that in this appellation it is permitted to name the grape variety on the label – which is unusual for France.

However, Tony will be gradually taking most of the wines out of these appellations in the coming years to provide him with more freedom with the winemaking.

In 2017 the weather was very unkind in the Jura and the harvest was minimal. It turned out that there was insufficient grapes to make separate cuvées for the normal Philippe Bornard and Tony Bornard wines, so all of the grapes were combined into one new cuvée called Au Fil des Générations with a label that has been created using an old label for inspiration. This work has been done by Tony’s equally talented sister who works in Lyon as a designer/artist.


In the Jura, red wines are often released years before the white wines because the winemakers want the whites to develop the oxidative characteristics that make them so food friendly.

Domaine Bornard Arbois Vin Jaune 2012

There are strict rules relating to the production of Vin Jaune or ‘yellow
wine’ in the Jura. It is matured in old 228 litre casks which are not topped up.
The maturation must continue for a minimum of 6 years and 3 months. This means that a film of yeast develops on the surface of the wine (known as a voile) thus protecting it from the oxygen in the gap in the barrel. However some oxidation occurs giving the wine some sherry-like characteristics even though it is never fortified like sherry.

Vin Jaune is very much a cult wine with 50000 people attending the annual festival in Arbois to celebrate the bottling of the current Vin Jaune.

620 ml format

RRP: $215 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Bornard VdF Triffaut Le Ginglet


This is the first time (2018) that Le Ginglet has been produced without the Arbois Pupillin appellation displayed on the label. However Tony chose not to submit Le Ginglet to the appellation authorities in 2018 and there may be more that he might not submit as well.

The reason us that he wants the wines to reflect the terroir without having to manipulate them into wines that might be more suitable for the conservative members of the authority.

There are other wines, however, that he wouldn’t even think of taking out of the appellation process such as their delicious Vin Jaune, because then he couldn’t put those words on the label nor sell it in the Vin Jaune shaped bottles and that would be very confusing.

Anyway, we are delighted with the result of the Ginglet in 2018. It is a light, bright and eminently drinkable wine that we absolutely love.

We also received a few bottles of the 2016.

RRP: $80 for 2016 750ml, $151 for 2018 MAGNUM (ALL SOLD OUT)

Domaine Bornard Chardonnay Au Fil des Générations 2017

In 2107 the Bornard vineyards were hit by massive frosts and they lost 85% of their crops. So, they made the difficult decision to combine all their Chardonnay and all of their Ploussard into one cuvée for each grape variety.

They did not want to use the Bornard branding prominently because the wine is a combination of Chardonnay from a number of vineyards, including Tony’s.

As they were combining grapes they thought they would also pay homage to the people who had contributed in the past including Philippe (of course) and Philippe’s father and grandfather and to use a label from the past which the talented Charlène has updated.

RRP: $109 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Bornard Ploussard Au Fil des Générations 2017

In 2107 the Bornard vineyards were hit by massive frosts and they lost 85% of their crops. So, they made the difficult decision to combine all their Chardonnay and all of their Plousard into one cuvée for each grape variety.

They did not want to use the Bornard branding prominently because the wine is a combination of Ploussard from a number of vineyards, including Tony’s.

As they were combining grapes they thought they would also pay homage to the people who had contributed in the past including Philippe (of course) and Philippe’s father and grandfather and to use a label from the past which the talented Charlène has updated.

RRP: $104 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Bornard Vivre d’Amour et de Plouplou 2018

Tony Bornard has produced a still red wine in 2018 from the very good harvest they had from their Les Gaudrettes vineyard in the commune of Pupillin.

Normally, these grapes are only found in their delightful pet nats such as Tant Mieux, but in 2018 there were enough grapes to make this wine as well from 100% Plousard.

We think that it is called Plouplou because there may be a problem putting the grape variety on the label with a Vin de France wine.

This is an excellent wine made from grapes that were picked reasonably early (6th September). Tony wanted to make an easy-to-drink wine and he certainly succeeded. The body is light as you would expect from an early-picked Ploussard from Pupillin and the alcohol is correspondingly low at a mere 10.5%.

RRP: $57 for 750ml, $113 for MAGNUM (ALL SOLD OUT)

Domaine Bornard Vin de France Le Vin de Ploussard


The Tony Bornard Ploussard is a light, juicy red wine that is perfect for drinking at almost any time of day. It is light in alcohol like many red wines from the Jura region, but it has the characteristic deep flavour derived from the complex marl soils that are a feature of this area. Tony thinks that drinking this wine will “open your mind” (ouvre L’esprit).

Ploussard is a grape variety that is native to the Jura region and particularly thrives on the soils around the village of Pupillin which is where Tony lives. Tony handpicked the grapes for this wine on the 11th September 2018

This is a very interesting and exciting wine.

RRP: $66 for 2018 750ml, $122 for 2016 MAGNUM (ALL SOLD OUT)

Domaine Bornard Vin de France Chardo Gai 2016


We tasted Tony’s wines in Pupillin when we visited him in September last year. We loved the wines even though they were then very young. We therefore were waiting with some anticipation to see how they would be after another nine months in the bottle!

After one sip of the Chardonnay we were delighted! This is a stunning, quaffable, exciting wine that we have now tried a number of times because we just can’t stop drinking it.

We have tried it with a duck and pork cassoulet and we also tried it at Dark Mofo with Marty Boetz’s deeply-flavoured pork neck curry. It was perfect with both. It is also fresh and lively enough to be drunk as an aperitif.

This is a very, very good wine from a winemaker with lots of experience in the trade. The 2016 vintage reflects the summer that they had in the Jura.


Tony Bornard Vin de France Le Pinot Ctambule 


It is always exciting to receive a Pinot Noir from the Jura, and even more exciting when it is supplied by Tony Bornard. It is useful to remember that Tony’s vineyards are only an hour’s drive from the centre of Burgundy, so it is not surprising that Pinot is grown here. It was brought up the road from Burgundy hundreds of years ago and has developed its own character with the different climate and the different soils and the different yeasts that are found in this region.

This is a very supple wine with good fruit and some length. It is a perfect wine for roast lamb or roast chicken.

We have just received two vintages of this wine 2017 and 2018. The 2017 is light and fresh and the 2018 has more structure and will keep for longer.

How can you tell which one you are drinking because the vintage does not appear on the front label as you can see above? There is a clue on the back label as you can see below:

As you can see from the screen shot above, the grapes for this wine were picked on September 20th 2018, therefore this is the 2018 vintage. There is also a Lot number just below which is given as “Lot PNG18” which also gives a clue that it is the 2018 vintage. This vintage has now sold out.

If you have the 2017 vintage then you will see the picking date of September 4th 2017 and the Lot number of “Lot PNG17” on the back label.


Tony Bornard Vin de France Le Pinot Noir 2016


This is another Pinot Noir from Tony Bornard. It is useful to remember that Tony’s vineyards are only an hour’s drive from the centre of Burgundy, so it is not surprising that Pinot is grown here.

This is a more serious Pinot Noir than his early drinking Le Pinot Ctambule 2015, which we received last October and were showing at Rootstock 2016. The vines are about 25-30 years old growing in black and red marl in a parcel just near the famous Pupillin sign you can see as you drive along the N83 from Poligny to Arbois.

During maceration Le Pinot had a little pigeage and pump-over so it is slightly more extracted than Le Pinot Ctambule. This wine was aged in a single 400 litre barrel and was bottled in June 2016.


Domaine Bornard Plou Plou Point Barre

If you are smitten by big, robust, Barossa shiraz wines then please don’t buy this one.

The Point Barre is made from the Poulsard (aka Ploussard) grape and is a light, delicate almost translucent red wine that gives off aromas of red currants, citrus and saddle leather with a touch of cinnamon. It is not high in alcohol (at a pleasant 12%) and it does not have aggressive tannins.

There is instead a purity and silkiness to this wine that makes it quite ethereal. It matches with just about any food you care to think of.

The name, by the way, literally translates as “full stop”. So there is Ploussard, full stop, nothing else! This includes no added sulphites.

We have received three different versions of Point Barre in the most recent shipment. We have received a few Magnums of 2016 which was released under the Arbois Pupillin appellation. We also received some bottles of the 2016 Point Barre which had the additional name of Plou-Plou and was released as a Vin de France and hence could not display the name of the grape variety (Ploussard).

We also received some bottles of the 2018 which was a surprise because it displays the name of the vineyard (Les Gaudrettes) on the label. Normally all the Ploussard from this vineyard is used to produce the amazing pet nat called Tant Mieux, but the harvest was so good that there was enough grapes to make some Point Barre as well. Tony also used the grape name on this occasion!


Philippe Bornard Arbois Pupillin Ploussard La Chamade 2015

This Ploussard is exactly the style of wine we have come to prefer. Darker in colour than other wines made from this grape, long on flavour and with a soft and silky mouth feel. There is an earthiness about this wine but the finish is reminiscent of cherries that have been lightly spiced. The grapes are macerated for three weeks in fibreglass tanks and the wine is then aged in one of the large wooden foudres that line his winery for a year before the wine is bottled.

“La Chamade” literally means ‘wildly’ but in the context of the pounding of the heart when drinking a good wine.

Wine iconoclast Lou Amdur of Lou’s wine bar in Los Angeles had this to say about La Chamade recently:

Bornard´s Ploussard is, nevertheless, hardly a wallflower, but a very pretty
wine that insinuates itself into the conversation and before you know it, you
are staring sadly at an empty bottle.”


Philippe Bornard Arbois Pupillin Pinot Noir Aide Memoire 2015

Lovers of Burgundian-style Pinot Noir wines might find this one a bit different! There is an earthiness to this funky, ‘alive’ wine that we find quite appealing. There are notes of mushroom (in a nice way) and cherry and a mineral finish that is quite long. As with many of Philippe’s wines, this one has that lovely savoury, umami quality that makes you want to take another sip.

It is interesting to note that more and more lovers of Pinot Noir are starting to compare their favourite red wines from Burgundy with those from their eastern neighbours in Alsace and the Jura. There are some very special wines that rival their better known cousins and this is but one. There is a lot happening in the glass and yet the alcohol level is only 12.1%.


Philippe Bornard Arbois Pupillin Le Garde Corps 2015

We were lucky enough to be in Pupillin when Tony Bornard was carrying out the annual stocktake of Philippe’s wines. He found a few cases of wines hidden away including a couple of the fabulous Trousseau called Le Garde Corps. They have now all been sold, but in our most recent shipment he included a few magnums.


Philippe Bornard Arbois Pupillin Chardonnay Le Blanc de la Rouge

The Blanc de la Rouge is an intense, concentrated, very dry Chardonnay that shows characteristic mineral overtones derived from the limestone and marl soils in which the vines thrive.

The name “Le Blanc de La Rouge” signifies the fact that the grapes for this white wine are sourced from the La Rouge vineyard (named after the red marl found there).

This wine shows how Chardonnay expresses itself differently at this higher altitude than nearby Burgundy.

We have been lucky enough to source some of both the 2012 vintage and the 2015 vintage in this shipment.


Philippe Bornard Arbois Pupillin Melon Le Rouge Queue 2016

The first thing you notice about the label on this wine is that Tony regards Melon as a different grape variety. This is not Melon de Bourgogne but a variant or cousin of Chardonnay that has ‘evolved’ in this region.

The local name of the grape is Melon-Queue-Rouge which refers to the red stems of the vines. Tony thinks that people just forgot about this grape but his grandfather and a few others kept growing it even though it was a smaller grape and somewhat susceptible to disease. However the INAO which officially controls French appellation law does not recognise its existence.

There are some oxidative notes in this wine which makes it very appealing to those of us who crave this experience. It is a big, fruity wine but with a razor-sharp streak of acidity offsetting the sweetness of the fruit. As is the case with many of the Bornard wines, the finish is incredibly long.

If you see the 2016 in a shop somewhere (we have sold all our allocation) then buy it! It is an extraordinary wine. Full, rich, expressive and downright delicious!

Chambers Street Wines in New York said this of the Melon recently:

This Melon-Queue-Rouge (a variety related to Chardonnay) is fermented in fiberglass and then aged in old Burgundy barrels and demi-muids. The wine is minty and green apple-y with the characteristic generosity we associate with Bornard’s wines and a riveting streak of acidity that carries through to the finish.

RRP: $131 for 750ml (SOLD OUT)

Philippe Bornard Côtes du Jura Savagnin Ouillé Les Chassagnes 2016

This lovely wine is made from 100% Savagnin which is a white grape that is native to the Jura region. It is named after the lieu-dit or plot of land where the Savagnin is grown (ie Les Chassagnes). As with many wines from the Jura this wine has been made with a slight oxidative edge which gives it a beautiful, nutty, savoury, umami quality that makes for compelling drinking.

You will get notes of grapefruit. almonds and hazelnuts and even salt before you notice the long, long finish. This is an incredibly exciting wine that is unlike any produced in this country. You have to try it to see what we are raving about.

Note that the term ouillé refers to the technique of topping up barrels as the wine evaporates to ensure that minimal oxygen gets in contact with the wine.


Philippe Bornard Cotes du Jura Savagnin Les Marnes 2012

This wine will grab the attention of the oxidative crowd even though
it is, to our taste, relatively lightly oxidative. Let’s explain about sous-voile wines. These are wines that have an extended period of barrel aging, during which the barrel is not topped up. The wine gradually evaporates exposing it to air but also forming a ‘veil’ of yeast on the surface which protects it from the more negative effects of oxygen. The resultant wine develops nutty characteristics and a savoury palate that is quite compulsive. The wine was produced with native yeasts and very little sulphur has been added to the bottle. The old casks that the wine is matured in impart little if no oak flavour. This is
an intriguing and beautiful wine that will appeal to lovers of the Jura experience. It’s more affordable than Vin Jaune but, like it, is a wonderful match with nutty cheeses such as Comté, which comes from the same region.


Philippe Bornard Cotes du Jura Chardonnay Les Gaudrettes 2016

Chardonnay from Les Gaudrettes is always a stand-out at our tastings at the Bornard cellar and 2018 is no exception. We will be receiving three releases ‘tirages’ of this vintage, each with slightly different aging regime. This first release was aged entirely in tank, which is a first for this wine. In the past it has always only been aged in wood (as the remaining two releases will be). It is fresh-tasting Chardonnay but still has complexity and a beautiful mouth-feel. It exhibits the same characteristics as his other wines on the finish – long and lingering. and it’s only 11.5% ABV.

The different varieties of marl that are found in the Les Gaudrettes vineyard provide a complex minerality to wines made from grapes grown in this location.

Read a review of an earlier vintage of Les Gaudrettes by Dave Brookes, a respected South Australian wine writer on his blog Vinofreakism*:

Les Gaudrettes Review:

We would urge you to read the entire review but in part he says:

“Pale gold in the glass with aromes of ripe, snappy citrus and stone-fruits..grapefruit, lemon, white peach and a touch of crunchy pear. There are hints of  spice, hazelnut, marzipan, white flowers and almond….it really
is a very pretty smelling wine.

On the palate the wine is bright and energetic with a terrific entry on the palate awash with vibrant citrus, apple and pear fruits. The soft spice inflow starts on the mid-palate with hints of minerals, white flowers and grilled nuts.
Great energy, freshness and persistent finish…a
gouleyant wine …a thirst-quencher and one with great appeal at that!”


Philippe Bornard Vin de Table Vin de Bataille

This wine (formerly called Vin de Pigaille by Philippe) is made in the Vin de Paille style (the authorities thought the name was too similar) and is aged for years before bottling.

This wine is a blend of Ploussard, Savagnin and Chardonnay (it is permitted in Arbois Pupillin to add red grapes to white wines provided they don’t exceed 20% of the mix). The technique sees grapes being picked and then left to dry out on straw mats to increase the concentration. Philippe and Tony place fifteen bunches in each tray which are all lined with straw. The bunches do not touch each other.

It is classified as a Vin de Table because there is a requirement for the
Vin de Paille designation for the wine to be at least 14.5% alcohol, whereas Philippe prefers a lighter, less alcoholic style with this vintage being only 11.5%.

500 ml format


Philippe Bornard Arbois Pupillin L’Ivresse de Noe 2011

The fascinating L’Ivresse de Noe (named after the biblical story of the drunkeness of Noah) is a November harvest Savagnin. Because Savagnin has a hard skin the grapes can withstand the drying process as they wither on the vine and concentrate the flavour inside the grape.

The bunches are then hand-picked and pressed then moved to 400 litre tonneau to mature for two years. The barrels are kept topped up during that time.

A little residual sugar linked to high acidity gives this non-oxidative Savagnin an unusual flavour and texture; it is a beautiful, vinous wine with a very long finish. It is often drunk in the Jura as an aperitif but can also be matched with a wide range of foods.

This is what Chambers Street Wines said in their recent newsletter:

This is the magical wine that stole my heart a year ago when I visited the cellar of Philippe Bornard. The Savagnin grapes that make this wine are harvested in November and some residual sugar is left in the wine after fermentation, resulting in a lightly sweet yet concentrated Savagnin that offers aromas of honey, quince, and orchard fruit. This wine has never been seen in the US before and, frankly, if I had the luxury of a Christmas stocking this year, this is the wine I would want to find in it.

500 ml format


Philippe Bornard Vin de Table Petillant Naturel Rose Tant Mieux 2018

We have been hanging out for the re-emergence of one of our favourite pet nats – Tant Mieux.

This gorgeous, pink sparkling wine made in the Petillant Naturel style is made from the Ploussard grape. The wine completes its fermentation in the bottle and no sugar is added.

Nor is it disgorged so you will find some residual yeast remaining in the bottle. It is very low in alcohol at around 9% and has an appealing residual sweetness.

There is not much of it made and we have only a small allocation. However, it remains one of our all time favourite wines as it is just so versatile. You can drink it in the afternoon in the sun, it works well with snacks as the sun is going down and after a solid night of enjoyment it is a perfect drink to put a full stop to the night!


Philippe Bornard Vin de Table Petillant Naturel En Go-guette

The Bornard En Go-guette is a lovely white sparkling wine made in the Petillant Naturel style is made from the Chardonnay grape. The wine completes its fermentation in the bottle and no sugar is added. Nor is it disgorged so you will find some residual yeast remaining in the bottle. It is very low in alcohol at around 10%.

This is a beautifully made wine that works perfectly as an aperitif and also as a matching to a range of foods. Philippe is a master of the petillent naturel style and any of his wines of this type are absolute treasures.

The vintage we have just received is from the 2018 vintage and has not been disgorged.


Philippe Bornard Vin de France Trousseau Troussipet 2016

The Troussipet is a pet nat made from the Trousseau grape variety and is a new cuvee for the Philippe Bornard. It is also a white pet nat whereas Trousseau is a red grape variety. Philippe achieves this by directly pressing the grapes so that the juice is not in contact with the skins from where the colour is derived.

The result is a lively, delicious and thoroughly smashable pet nat that is a delight to drink.


Philippe Bornard Vin de Table Petillant Naturel Ca Va Bien

“Things are going well” when you are drinking a bottle of the Bornard Ca Va Bien which is a lovely white sparkling wine made in the Petillant Naturel style made from the Savagnin grape.

The wine completes its fermentation in the bottle and no sugar is added. Nor is it disgorged so you will find some residual yeast remaining in the bottle. It is very low in alcohol at around 10%.

Tony loves making pet nats and this one clearly shows that he is a master of the difficult art.

We are lucky that 2018 was a relatively good year and that there was enough grapes to produce this amazing wines.

RRP: $54 for 2020 and 2018, $103 for 2016 MAGNUM (ALL SOLD OUT)

Philippe Bornard (Jo) Liqueur

This sweetish wine has been fortified and runs to 17% alcohol. It is made in the local Macvin style but not strictly according to the rules required for it to sport the appellation “Macvin du Jura” on the label.
The essential point of this wine however is that it is a combination of grape juice and special alcohol. The grape juice never ferments.

The process starts by pressing the very ripe Chardonnay grapes to create grape juice. This juice is then heated in a copper pot over a small fire to evaporate some of the water in the juice and to concentrate the sugars in a similar way to the vin cuit in Provence.

A marcstyle alcohol made in the Bornard cellars from the grape must and matured for at least 18 months and sometimes up to ten years is added to the grape juice.

In addition another alcohol called the “fine” is made from the lees and some of this is also added. The exact proportions of marc to fine varies according to the harvest but it is usually around two thirds grape juice to one third alcohol.

The wine is then matured is barrels for at least seven years!

The result is a gorgeous, sweet wine that can be drunk as an aperitif in the morning or with sweet dishes during a meal.

Macvin has been produced in this area since the 14th century even though the appellation was only proclaimed in 1991.

The name is a play on words as usual in France. (Jo) Liqueur can be broken down to Joli Queur which sounds like Joli Coeur which is a “happy heart” that you get when you drink this wine.

700ml format