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  • 1974 Clos Joliette Jurançon Sec

1974 Clos Joliette Jurançon Sec

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The legendary wines of Clos Joliette were produced from 1932 until 1975 by Monsieur and Madame Migné, just outside the village of Pau in the southwest of France. Each year, in the same manner as Chateau Yquem, they would make four or five sweeps through the vines over the course of several weeks, harvesting only the ripest bunches of grapes. The resulting wine was aged for four years in barrel, and then five years in bottle before offered to a small group of loyal collectors.

We are extremely fortunate to have found a small stash of wines from the 1974 vintage which have been perfectly stored, are in impeccable condition, and (after no small amount of negotiating) that are finally able to offer to our customers in the US.

The 3-acre Clos Joliette vineyard is located just outside the village of Pau, on a steep south-facing slope. It was planted by Monsieur Migné’s uncle in 1925 to 95% Petite Manseng (the noble grape of the southwest), with the remaining 5% mixed between Gros Manseng and Corbu. The vineyard was farmed organically and plowed by winch, as the slopes are too steep to allow a tractor. Technology was equally eschewed in the cellar. Each year the grapes were harvested at full maturity between November 15th and December 10th. Depending on the weather conditions each vintage, the wine from Clos Joliette could be sec (dry), demi-sec (off-dry), or moelleux (sweet). Less than 400 cases were produced in good years, and hardly 250 cases when the yields were low.

There are extremely few wines that are made under such extreme conditions, with such attention to detail, and risk taking in the cellar. The meticulous wines of Chateau Yquem come to mind, but with one important difference….

The 1974 Clos Joliette Jurancon is a dry white wine! It is rich and unctuous, with a golden amber hue. The flavor is impossibly complex, with dominant notes of honey and white truffle. As with other wines this rich, one bottle easily serves 8 to 10 people. We recommend opening the bottle and decanting the wine a few hours before serving. 

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