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.
The project was born in Taillevent Paris where Guillaume d’Angerville, proprietor of the great Volnay estate Marquis d’Angerville, was served blind a bottle of Jura Chardonnay from the 2005 vintage. Struck by its quality, Guillaume was taken a back to discover the wine was not from Meursault, let alone anywhere in the Côte d’Or. This moment proved the trigger for an exciting new project. 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 partner in Domaine du Pélican, 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 En 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 most Jura’s most exciting and complex wines.