Domaine Labet is located in the village of Rotalier at the southern tip of Jurassien vineyards. A region locally named Le Sud – Revermont on a specific soil; a surface layer of clay, on outcrops of calcareous slabs called Bajocian. This type of soil, very conducive to the expression of Chardonnay, is rare in the Jura.
The 13 hectares of the estate are spread over 45 parcels, over 4 communes and thirteen lieux dits! Since 1974 the family estate of Alain, Josie and their children Charline, Romain and Julien have been making around 30 vintages each year. The focus has been on ouillées cuvées since Julien took charge of the ouillages 20 years ago. Julien created his own estate in 2003 with 3 hectares of vines certified since 2013 in organic farming. He carried out his first test without sulfur in 2008. The other vines are in the course of certification. In 2013 the parents Labet retired and the two fields will be grouped and directed between brothers and sisters.
The specificity of Domaine Labet is the single vineyard approach of the wines; a single vineyard cuvée comes from a single plot to express the personality of a grape variety, a place, a soil, a terroir. The old vines in mass selection were planted at a time when clones did not exist. Each winemaker, each village had its own selection and each plant brings its specificity to the wine and complicates it.
The vineyards, hilled from January to April are unhilled from March to June: the scratches made from May to July can control the grass. They apply treatments based on sulfur, copper, whey and herbal teas (nettle, horsetail, wicker). The yields are moderate, quite variable from one vintage and one vine to another; 15 to 40 hl/ha for vines over 40 years, 30 to 60 hl for younger vines.
For the Labet family, wine is the work of yeasts. The spontaneous fermentations are carried out by native yeasts, different from one plot and from one vintage to another; they play an important role in the personality, the expression of each wine, of each terroir. If the soil is at the origin of the minerality of the wine, the yeasts give it its shape and its aromatic characteristics.
The cellar work is simple and takes place over time, seasons and lunar cycles. Most wines are aged on lees, in barrels of 228 litres aged 4 to 15 years. The wines are not fined, chaptalized or acidified. Sulfur only if necessary is added at low doses on certain wines to stand the transport and storage in not always fresh cellars. Finally bottling is done in the spring when the wines are still cold, often limpid. Most vintages are not filtered.
These are real bombs of minerality version Jura!