Eric and Bérengère Thill make wines from their small holdings in the south of the Jura some 45 kilometres south of Arbois. Here they grow the traditional Jura grape varieties including 3.25 hectares of chardonnay, 1 hectare of Savagnin, .35 hectares of Pinot Noir and .7 hectares of Poulsard. They were certified organic by Ecocert in 2015.
Eric was originally from Alsace and prefers to work with single grape varieties. They live in the village of Trenal which is very close to the commune of Gevingey where their vines are planted close to the forests which provide diversity.
Their plots are situated in a number of places including the Montbouchon lieu dit which sees clay sitting over Bajocien limestone, Les Grandes Vignes which is the sought after grey, red and blue marl, Les Molates which also benefits from blue and grey marl and Les Longes Combes which has clay soils.
Eric Thill AOP Cotes du Jura Chardonnay Les Grandes Vignes 2016
This lovely white wine is made entirely from Chardonnay grapes picked from two different parts of the Les Grandes Vignes vineyard where Eric and Bérengère have 1 hectare of Chardonnay.
The wine was fermented naturally and then left to mature in a stainless steel tank for 18 months.
This a very clean, topped-up Chardonnay that displays minerality and salinity with a long, long finish. This is a wonderful introduction to Jura whites for those eager to start exploring these wonderful wines.
Eric Thill AOP Côtes du Jura Chardonnay Préfleur 2014
This wine is a slightly oxidative wine that has incredible complexity and richness while also displaying the minerality and salinity of the Les Grandes Vignes vineyard.
It was topped up during the first two years in old barrels but then left to form a veil from the yeasts in the wine. It is quite nutty as can be expected for a wine that has matured under a veil.
The grapes are picked from vines that are around 50 years old and are facing south. The wine does undergo malolactic fermentation in the barrels.
Eric Thill AOP Côtes du Jura Poulsard 2018
This delicious Poulsard is a perfect for sipping in the sun or matching with charcuterie and many other foods. The wine is made from grapes grown on vines that are 40 years old on a west-facing slope where the rocks are a precious mixture of red, grey and brown marl.
Fermentation is for 21 days in carbonic maceration, with 2 pump-overs in order to avoid reduction. Fermentation temperature is maintained at 18°C to conserve the fruitiness.
Eric Thill AOP Côtes du Jura Savagnin Cuvée Romane 2016
This exciting topped-up Savagnin is named after the daughter of Eric and Bérengère. It certainly has been a popular cuvée since arriving in Australia.
The vineyard from which the grapes for this cuvée are sourced has both yellow and grey marl soils and has a westerly orientation.
The grapes are de-stemmed and pressed slowly for a few hours. The resultant juice is fermented with native yeasts, however Eric doesn’t allow the wine to go through malolactic fermentation in order to preserve the freshness of the wine.
The wine then undergoes sur lie ageing for around ten months prior to bottling.
SOLD OUT ALREADY!
Eric Thill AOP Côtes du Jura Vin Jaune 2012
Tounderstand the pricing for Vin Jaune you also need to understand the process by which it is created. The first part of the process is to make a still white wine from the Savagnin grape and only the Savagnin grape. No other grape variety is permitted.
After the wine is made it is put into wooden barrels but not topped up. As the wine matures some of it evaporates through the pores in the wood. As the level of the wine drops, a “veil” of dead yeast starts to form on the surface which slows down the rate of oxidisation. The formation of the veil is critical because the wine has to spend 6 years and 3 month in the barrel to be classified as a Vin Jaune!
When the wine is ready it is bottled in a special squat bottle that contains 620 mls of wine.
The end result is an oxidative wine that is tinted yellow (jaune) which is a perfect accompaniment to the local comte cheese.
This is an excellent value Vin Jaune – the first that has been produced at this estate. We only have a couple of bottles left.
RRP: $136 for 620 mls
Eric Thill AOP Crémant du Jura Cuvée Adrian 2016
This sparkling Crémant is actually named after the son of Eric and Bérengère.
A great sparkling wine that has some age. The vines are approximately 50 years of age growing on a slope that is south-facing, with clay and limestone soils.
Fermentation is with indigenous yeasts. Disgorging after 21 months with no added sulphur or liquor.