Domaine Rolet, Arbois wine

For many of us, Domaine Rolet was the gateway to the Jura. This is a sizable operation for the region and one that pursues virtually every style of Jura wine, from the conventional to the quirky.

Four siblings manage their namesake estate, all of whom are getting on in years and sadly none of whose progeny show any interest in taking over. There is no secret about the estate being for sale, but since the Rolets do not wish to split the assets amongst various customers, the size of their holdings make for an intimidating financial prospect for any small grower. Regretfully, it’s almost inevitable that the eventual sale will place 40 hectares of enviable vineyards in the hands of a mammoth operation.

In the meantime, Domaine Rolet is a prime source for varietally and stylistically correct wines from all of the Jura’s grape varieties and all of its appellations, save Château-Chalon. They do sous voile and ouillé for whites and both styles result in delicious, textured, authentic wines. Their perky, fresh reds from Trousseau and Poulsard are delicious, as is their blend of those two grapes with Pinot Noir. The sparkling wines are delightful and their Vin Jaune, bottled for North America in 375 mL bottles, is an excellent introduction to the style – deep, intense and rich.

The Rolets have no pretensions about their wines being the very most profound of the region, but instead they proudly craft wines that are characterful, genuine, delicious and affordable.

Many regions of France would be lucky to have such an ambassador – a family-run estate making representative, restaurant-ready wines in obtainable quantities and accommodating prices.

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