Domaine Bornard – Memorable Wines

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. Philippe has retired and his talented son Tony (photo) has taken over the operation (since 2017) with little fuss and with few observable differences for outsiders.

Tony has kept the fox logo but made it look simpler. So there is now Domaine Bornard and some wines that Tony has kept with the Tony Bornard label that he used on some of his wines in the past. All the wines from both ” brands” are made by Tony.

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. He is particularly interested in how he manages the soil in his vineyards to ensure longevity for the vines through the health of the soil.

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 has created a new winery in this village which is a state of the art building that even includes a special area for maturing the white wines which are so beloved in the Jura.

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.

You will also begin to notice that the wine labels are becoming simpler, with only the most essential information being displayed on the front label. So, for example, the 2019 Le Ginglet has only the name of the wine (Le Ginglet) and the name of the winemaker (Tony Bornard) on the front label – of course, along with the immediately recognisable fox!

The task Tony Bornard has taken on is quite daunting as it involves 11 hectares of vines covering Trousseau, Ploussard, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Savagnin as well as the wonderful Melon à Queue Rouge. He also continues to make all of the different styles of wines when the harvest permits, including Vin Jaune, Vin de Paille, Macvin and Pet Nat.

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 Domaine 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.

Tony Bornard maintains an Instagram post which you can see here. You can also find a bit more about the Jura in our review of the book on Jura wines and winemakers by Wink Lorch.


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 2014

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 wine must be made only from the Savagnin grape variety and the vines must lie within the defined Jura region.

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.

By law the wine can only be sold in the special 620 ml format bottles. The appellation for this Vin Jaune is the Arbois Pupillin appellation reflecting where the grapes for the wine were grown. It is one of the few wines that Tony still uses the appellation for.

We also have a few bottles of a special second bottling of the 2012 Vin Jaune known as the “second tirage”.This wine was released under the more general Cotes du Jura appellation.


Domaine Bornard VdF Le Ginglet 2020

Le Ginglet has again been produced in 2020 without the Arbois Pupillin appellation displayed on the label, rather it is released under the Vin de France appellation.

However Tony chose not to submit Le Ginglet to the appellation authorities in 2018 and 2019 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 now delighted with the result of the Ginglet in 2020. It is a light, bright and eminently drinkable wine that we absolutely love. It is typical of the best of the Trousseau wines produced in this area. It is 12.7% alcohol for 2020.

Ginglet is a word in the local “patois” which means both “having a drink” and “having fun”.

We also have a few bottles of the 2019 in this shipment.


Domaine Bornard Chardonnay Au Fil des Générations 2019

In 2107 and 2019 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.

The grapes were harvested on the 24th September 2019 and the wine is 13% alcohol.


Domaine Bornard Ploussard Au Fil des Générations 2019

In 2107 and 2019 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. The alcohol content is 13.3%.

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.

The grapes were harvested on the 17th September 2019 and the wine is 13.3% alcohol.


Tony Bornard Le Gentil Blanc 2021

This is another of the Bornard wines that has been released under the Tony Bornard label even though he is now responsible for making all the wines and has been for some time (since about 2017 – see introduction to this page).

This is a very exciting wine! It is made from pure Savagnin which was hand-harvested on September 11th 2020. The grapes were macerated for almost three weeks before being pressed and then fermented in stainless steel tanks. The resulting wine has an alcohol level of only 12.4% making it a great drink to accompany food as it is not too alcoholic.

As we have said before about this wine, it displays an amazing combination of intensity, tension, power and precision that you only find in wines made with Savagnin and where the wine is handled by a skillful artist such as Tony.

You will notice on the accompanying label the appellation Vin de France is displayed as Tony is gradually moving his wines out of the appellations so that he can make wines that he wants to make rather than conform to the stereotypes imposed by the appellation authorities.

This is a stunning wine that should be approached with reverence!


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 (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 (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 from Domaine 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.

The label for this wine reminds us of when Tony had his own wines which were separated from the Domaine


Tony Bornard Vin de France Le Pinot Noir 2018


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 2019.


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 12.5%) 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!


Domaine Bornard Arbois Pupillin Ploussard La Chamade 2018

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.”


Domaine Bornard Arbois Pupillin Pinot Noir Aide Memoire 2019

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 Tony’s wines, this one has that lovely savoury, umami quality that makes you want to take another sip.

A recent edition of the Petit Caves newsletter featured the latest releases of the Bornard wines and they were particularly excited about the Aide-Memoire saying that it was “harvested at good maturity for … maximum expression of the grape”.

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 where Pinot Noir has been grown for centuries. 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 12.4% – just ever so slightly higher than recent vintages.


Domaine 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.


Domaine 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)

Domaine 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.


Domaine 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.


Domaine Bornard Cotes du Jura Chardonnay Les Gaudrettes Tirage 3 2018

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 11.3% 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!”


Domaine Bornard Vin de Table Vin de Bataille

This wine (formerly called Vin de Pigaille) 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. Tony places 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 Tony prefers a lighter, less alcoholic style with this vintage being only 11.5%.

500 ml format


Domaine 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.

500 ml format


Domaine 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!


Domaine 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. Tony 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.


Domaine 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)

Domaine 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