Domaine du Pelican: Jurassien Gems

Domaine du Pelican: Jurassien Gems
Their wines were described as “polished diamonds” by Julia Harding in in November 2017 and we ourselves have consistently been blinded by their brilliant quality over the last few years. So we are absolutely thrilled to welcome Jura’s Domaine du Pélican into our portfolio for the first time. We have recently shipped in their latest release, the stunning 2016 vintage, and we are delighted to be offering them in the UK for the first time.

Since its birth in Montigny-lès-Arsures in 2012, Domaine du Pélican has rapidly established itself as one of Jura’s leading lights, producing exceptional biodynamic wines that mix finesse with thrilling Jurassien character. Pélican is a joint venture between Guillaume d’Angerville and François Duvivier, his Volnay Régisseur, who have in such a short space of time elevated the estate to among Jura’s greatest. This project is so much more than Burgundy meets Jura, though, these are wines with their own thrilling personality made by a skilled team with local know-how. We are convinced this Domaine will play a central role in revealing the Jura’s full potential.

The project was born in Taillevent Paris where Guillaume d’Angerville was bowled over by a Jura white he was served blind. Several Jura visits and tastings later and Guillaume was convinced to buy land there. He sought the help of respected Jura geologist Yves Hérody to find the best vineyard sites, a journey which took three years and culminated in a deal with the Château de Chavannes in Montigny-lès-Arsures in 2012 to purchase and lease five hectares. Jean-Marc Brignot sold him another five hectares shortly afterwards and finally in 2014 five hectares were leased from retiring Jura legend Jacques Puffeney.

The estate is managed by Guillaume’s Volnay Régisseur and Pélican business partner, François Duvivier, who runs a team permanently based in the Jura. The vines are between Arbois and Montigny. Vitally all 15 hectares are within 2km of each other, the same as in Volnay, this allows the estate to grow the vineyards bio-dynamically – for which some of the necessary treatments need to be made within two hours of preparation. The plots are among Jura’s finest, the very best being Le Barbi and Grand Curoulet. The terroirs here, a mix of marly clay and gravels with varying exposures from north to south, are even more complex than in Burgundy. Whilst a broadly Burgundian approach is employed to wine-making, there is no doubting the individuality and Jurassien personality of the wines. The d’Angerville approach in the cellar has always been light-touch, one which is toned down even more for Domaine du Pélican, little new oak is used and élévage is shorter, lasting twelve months as opposed to eighteen in Volnay. Tanks and foudres are employed for ageing the reds, 500 litre casks for the Savagnin and traditional Burgundian barriques for the Chardonnay. The whites are both “topped up” as opposed to the more common oxidative Jura method.

The rigour and investment of the Marquis d’Angerville, local know-how and great terroir is proving a potent combination, for these are some of the Jura’s most exciting and complex wines.