2012 Domaine de Montbourgeau "Cuvée Speciale" l'Etoile

SKU #1343775 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 L'Etoile Cuvée Spéciale is like a mini Vin Jaune, a riper year than 2013, with more volume in the palate and a stronger effect of the aging under the veil of yeasts. It aged for no less than four years under the veil of saccharomyces yeasts. It has pungent, penetrating notes of morel mushrooms and nuts in an elegant, mineral style that is the signature at Montbourgeau. It has a very dry palate with a chalky sensation. This is really very good. Surprisingly enough, this is 100% Chardonnay and aged in an oxidative way. It does have the roundness and power of the Chardonnay, which always has more volume than the Savagnin. 3,000 bottles were filled in May 2017. There will be no 2013 of this cuvée. (LG)  (12/2017)

K&L Notes

One of the classic icon producers of the L'Etoile region, Montbourgeau began its history in the 1920s and has produced traditional Jura wines ever since. L'Etoile takes its name from the tiny fossilized stars scattered throughout the limestone and marl soils. The Cuvee Speciale is particularly unique because it is 100% Chardonnay aged in barrel without toping off for almost 5 years. As the wine slowly concentrates, the classic veil aromas of honey, beeswax, minerals and spices slowly develops. It is an incredibly long and complex wine.

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Price: $34.99
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Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/19/2018 | Send Email
A bit more of an outlier, the Cuvee Speciale is all Chardonnay aged sous voile like a Vin Jaune. Not quite as long but it has all of those beautiful qualities. Brined apples, sweet spices, dried pineapple and roasted almonds, it has a quality that resonates on the palate. If you've had Vin Jaune before, you'll know what I'm talking about but the feel here is a touch fresher and feels a tad rounder since the grape is Chardonnay. It is a gorgeous expression worthy of any Jura collector or someone looking to explore a little outside the box.

Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/6/2018 | Send Email
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Few wineries on this beautiful planet have charmed and befriended my palate as Domaine de Montbourgeau, tucked into the tiny Jura appellation of L'Etoile, a site named for the zillions of ancient starfish that once roamed the inland seas, and now lend their fossil forms to the limestone soils that layer many of the vineyards. Founded in the 1920's by Victor Gros, the estate is now run by his granddaughter Nicole Deriaux who remains dedicated to organic viticulture (like fertilizing with Chinese radish and oats) and carefully nurtures every phase from vine to bottle. Her Cuvee Speciale is all magnificent Chardonnay, aged under a yeast veil for four years, and possesses both authority and elegance, with aromas of ripe apple, walnut shells and citrus, and flavors reminiscent of lemon pith, river stones and ginger paste. A reverential, contemplative wine that will enrapture a rotisseried chicken or a delicate Indian curry.

Staff Image By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/2/2018 | Send Email
This is my favorite of the wines from Montbourgeau. The aromatics are absolutely perfect on this wine, present but not overly aggressive. The nose is full of sous voile aromas of earth, almonds and mushrooms. The palate of the wine is tightly focused, it hits you with a surge of lemon and oyster shells, then carries through with classic Jura flavors and a deep, resonating finish. I adore this wine. Don’t get me wrong, I love Vin Jaune, but for me it’s a bit much as a dinner wine, but the Cuvee Speciale has plenty of oxidative character, without going over the top. This would be absolutely devastating with roast chicken.

Staff Image By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/1/2018 | Send Email
Savagnin has been one of my favorite white varieties for awhile now, and while it may be too weird for the average bear, I think that's what makes it so great and unique. Complex, carmel-esque, funky goodness are just a couple ways I would describe this Jura white from L'Etoile. While this wine may not be for the occasional drinker, this is definitely an awesome bottle for the dry Sherry fan or for one that is feeling adventurous.

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Alcohol Content (%): 13