Guillaume d’Angerville bet on the hunch that the Jura was the next frontier for great Pinot Noir in France.
Guillaume d’Angerville knows a thing or two about wine. He was born into one of the finest estates in Burgundy, the Marquis d’Angerville based in the hamlet of Volnay. Guillaume’s father Jacques had run the estate from the early 1950s until his death in 2003. It was Jacques who made the name d’Angerville synonymous with deeply aromatic, silky textured, and minimal-intervention Volnays.
Guillaume took over the operations after his father’s death, in the heat-wave vintage of 2003. Guillaume didn’t change a thing during the transition. The press seemed to have a wait-and-see attitude, but by the time the 2005s were released, there were no more questions. Today the demand for the Volnays of d’Angerville is greater than it’s ever been. Their flagship wine Volnay Clos des Ducs is considered one of the finest wines not only in Volnay, but in all of Burgundy.
Guillaume took like a fish to water in running the domaine after his father passed. He told us one of his favorite perks of the job is the “market visits.” Guillaume travels regularly from the U.S. to Brazil to Japan, etc. — anywhere where people love his wines. Once, when Guillaume was visiting a Parisian restaurant, he asked the sommelier to choose a wine for him that he was excited about, but to serve it blind. The one restriction Guillaume imposed was that the chosen wine couldn’t be from Burgundy. When Guillaume sipped the wine brought by the sommelier, he admonished him: “You forgot the rule, you brought me a wine from Burgundy.” The sommelier replied, “I am afraid you’re wrong.”
That wine was an Arbois from Stéphane Tissot, from a wine region just 50 miles south of Burgundy called the Jura.
After Guillaume tasted that remarkable Arbois, he didn’t waste much time going to visit the Jura region. But it took Guillaume another five years of visiting the village of Arbois in the Jura to find vineyards that he felt would help him reach as high a potential as he’s found at d’Angerville in Volnay. It took Guillaume some time to learn the area well enough to find the right vineyards; the climate and geography of the Jura are even more varied and complicated than Burgundy’s. Then lightning struck in 2012, when two attractive, distinct properties came up for sale at almost the same moment. D’Angerville bought both, and the Domaine du Pélican was born.
The Domaine du Pélican today sits on almost 37 acres — roughly the same size as Domaine Marquis d’Angerville in Volnay. The domaine is planted with the five indigenous grapes of the Jura: Chardonnay and Savagnin for white; Pinot Noir, Poulsard, and Trousseau for red.
D’Angerville bottles each grape separately from its finest sites for his flagship wines of Domaine du Pélican. He also produces a value-driven red wine from the three red grapes as less-expensive “village wine” offering called “Trois Cépages.”
Guillaume’s early efforts in the Jura have not gone unnoticed. We like how Wine & Spirits put it in its review of the 2013 “Trois Cépages” — this IS “a happy wine that you want to drink by the gallon.” Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate wrote, “The wines somehow have a clean Burgundy profile, less Jura than other locals, but in any case delicious, transparent, fresh, precise and very nicely priced.” Reviewing the 2013 “Trois Cépages,” The Wine Advocate praised it as “fine, silky and very elegant. Great acidity and finesse, it drinks very well.” We don’t suggest waiting until Parker gets around to reviewing this just-released 2015.
The 2015 Domaine du Pélican Arbois Trois Cépages is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir, 35% Trousseau, and 5% Poulsard — a blend that is the epitome of Arbois terroir. D’Angerville’s goal was to create a wine that tasted like a village-level Burgundy but could be purchased for the price of a Bourgogne Rouge. The finest NYC restaurants have featured this wine over the past year, including rare-air establishments like Eleven Madison Park, Per Se, The Modern, Bâtard, Nomad, Restaurant Daniel, Bar Boulud, and Cafe Boulud.
The 2015 Arbois “Trois Cépages” is brilliant ruby in color with pure aromas of violet, blackberry, cassis, and black pepper. Dense and rich on the palate, showing the warmth of 2015 with flavors of dark berries and herbs. The tannins are round and silky, giving a fresh and lingering finish. This is Burgundy in Jura clothing. Drink now through 2027.
Guillaume d’Angerville bet on the hunch that the Jura was the next frontier for great Pinot Noir in France. If the 2015 Domaine du Pélican is any indicator, we’d have to say that the gamble has paid off — and then some. See what the finest restaurants in NYC and the press are talking about — BEFORE the reviews roll in and the price soars! Today only: $42.50, exclusively for WineAccess members.
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