Renaud Bruyère and Adeline Houillon

Renaud Bruyère and Adeline Houillon are young winemakers from the Jura who produce a beautiful, light, ethereal Ploussard and a lovely blended, topped-up white wine made from Chardonnay and Savagnin.

They are a very small producer with only 4.5 hectares of low-yielding vines, so their production is tiny.

Their vineyards for the red wine are near the tiny village of Pupillin which sits on the hills above the main town of Arbois. When you drive into this village you see a sign proclaiming it as the “World Capital of Ploussard”.

Renaud Bruyère and Adeline Houillon Arbois Pupillin Ploussard 2017

Bruyere-Arbois-Pupillin-2014-RougeRenaud and Adeline have, once again, produced a beautiful, light, elegant red wine from the local Ploussard grape variety. The Ploussard benefits from the Triassic clay in which the vines thrive. Much of their production is sold in two local bars, namely Bistrot des Claquets (where we can always be found when we are in the area) and Les Jardins de St-Vincent. In both of these places locals and visiting Jura afficionados seek out this wine for its purity and finesse.

We find the back label (contra-etiquette) on each of the wines from Bruyère and Houillon very informative. As you can see the label is in French but it is relatively easy to get a sense of what they are saying.

Bruyere-Arbois-Pupillin-2017-Rouge-ContraThey start by saying that the terroir is “argileux du Trias” which is Triassic era clay along with Lias which is limestone. The grapes are picked by hand (vendange manuelle) and the grapes are separated from the bunches using a screen that they rub the bunches on (criable). The grapes then undergo a type of carbonic maceration where enzymes in the grape are responsible for fermentation of the sugars inside the grape. As the grapes break down, normal alcoholic fermentation begins via the yeasts on the grapes and this occurs in a tank for 32 days.

The term “cuvaison” refers to leaving the skins and pips in contact with the juice so that the anthocyanins which provide the colour are extracted from the skin.

The wine is bottled without any filtration and without the addition of any sulphites. The last sentence points out that some carbon dioxide may remain in the bottle as it is a natural preservative that they encourage.

RRP: $90 (SOLD OUT)

Renaud Bruyère and Adeline Houillon Arbois Blanc La Croix Rouge

Bruyere-Arbois-2014-BlancThis year we have been lucky enough to obtain two vintages of this stunning Chardonnay from the La Croix Rouge vineyard, namely 2013 and 2014. The wines have been aged in old oak barrels until Renaud and Adeline were convinced they were ready to bottle.

We tried these wines side by side when they arrived and were delighted with the freshness and liveliness of both of them.

The vines grow in limestone clay and the grapes, as always, are picked by hand and placed in small crates so that the grapes are not damaged in any way.

The back label refers to some of the information provided above. The words argilo-calcaire refers to the calcareous clay where the clay has been derived from limestone. The term ouillé is often used in the Jura these days and means “topped up”. White wines are treated in two different ways in the Jura. With some wines the juice is stored in old wooden barrels and some evaporates through the pores of the barrel. As the level of the wine goes down the wine becomes slightly oxidative. This wine, however, has been topped up from time to time to ensure that there is only minimal contact with oxygen to preserve the freshness of the wine. As with the Ploussard, this wine has been bottled (mis en bouteille) without filtration or added sulphites out of respect for the fact that it is a “living” wine.

The wax on Croix-Rouge is white.

RRP: SOLD OUT

Renaud Bruyère Adeline Houillon Arbois Blanc Savagnin 2014

This is the first time we have been able to secure some of this absolutely delicious wine made from 100% Savagnin. It has been maturing in old barrels for almost three years.

The vines grow in limestone clay and the grapes, as always, are picked by hand and placed in small crates so that the grapes are not damaged in any way.

The back label refers to some of the information provided above. The words argilo-calcaire refers to the calcareous clay where the clay has been derived from limestone. This wine is ouillé. The term is common in the Jura in recent years, particularly for Savagnin. It means “topped up” and is used to indicate that the wine has been treated differently from vin jaune. This wine was topped up regularly (an expensive process given how many years it was in barrel) to ensure that there is only minimal contact with oxygen to preserve the freshness of the wine. As with the Ploussard, this wine has been bottled (mis en bouteille) without filtration or added sulphites out of respect for the fact that it is a “living” wine.

This is a sensational wine displaying all of the best characteristics of this jewel of the Jura.  It has certainly benefitted from the time it has spent maturing in he old oak barrels.  It is exquisite with comté but will work with many types of dishes.

This wine is the first glimpse of the consequences of the goal Renaud and Adeline have to age many of their white wines for much longer. Being a young domaine, it is always a balance between cashflow and aging but this special wine shows what the rewards are when it is possible. We are thrilled to be able to sell it.

RRP: $131 (SOLD OUT) 

Renaud Bruyère and Adeline Houillon Arbois Savagnin / Chardonnay 2015

This very interesting wine is a mix of 70% Savagnin and 30% Chardonnay that was hand picked from the Nouvelles and Viaduc vineyards in the Arbois commune.

When we tried it in October 2019 we were amazed by the richness of the wine but also by the freshness, energy and tension it displayed.

Renaud thinks that this will easily keep for ten years.

The bottles have blue wax for those of you with an arcane interest in such matters!

RRP: $109 (SOLD OUT)

Renaud Bruyère and Adeline Houillon Arbois Les Tourillons 2015

This wine is made from grapes hand-harvested from the incredibly picturesque Les Tourillons vineyard which is quite small at .7 hectares, but occupies a West-facing site looking down on the town of Arbois and beyond.

The soils here are calcareous scree and when you walk through the vineyard you can pick up small rocks of limestone. The 50 year old vines here are Chardonnay (80%), Savagnin (20%) with a few Trousseau vines. The were harvested all on the same day and pressed and vinified together.

The soil produces wines that have both salinity and minerality while displaying tension and energy. We love this wine it is absolutely delicious and we always try to keep one or two for ourselves.

The bottles have green wax for those of you with an arcane interest in such matters!

RRP: $109 (SOLD OUT)