Joseph Dorbon initiated his work as “vigneron” in 1996. He works three hectares of vineyards situated in his village of Vadans, six kilometers north of Arbois and across the Route Nationale from the fabled town of Montigny-les-Arsures. The vines are hillside plantings, southeast facing, at approximately 1,000 feet of altitude (322 meters). Dorbon works his vineyards following the best ecological practices and is now recognized as on the path to organic classification (“en conversion biologique”). The soil is worked, turned effectively twice a year, the second time in June with the aid of a horse. Vegetation is essentially left in between the vineyard rows with the weeding done only underneath and immediately around the individual vines.
The vineyards are planted to a mix of Trousseau, Ploussard and Pinot Noir for the reds (30%) and Chardonnay and Savagnin (70% for the whites). All grapes are hand harvested.
The reds are each vinified separately after being destemmed. The alcoholic fermentation and cuvaison usually lasts for 15 days or so. Both the Ploussard and Trousseau are aged for one year in stainless steel while the Pinot Noir rests in 225 liter barrels for an eighteen-month period.
The whites are all pressed as “grappes entieres”. The juice destined for the Crémant goes into stainless until it is prepared for the second fermentation; the Chardonnay for the still wines is fermented in 225 liter barrels and is left in the barrel to age for twenty-four months before bottling. During the elevage, the white wine is never racked and the wines are raised “sous voile”. The still white wines are the product of grapes harvested exclusively from old vines that are at least 40 years of age.
Arbois Rouge – Ploussard Vieilles Vignes: an earthy but vibrant red with the classic faded rose color of this intriguing grape; from old vines, it offers seductive red cherry fruit which overlays a hint of the “sous bois”. Fermented with native yeast, aged in stainless steel for one year and bottled unfiltered.
Arbois Rouge “Les Bernardines – Vieilles Vignes”: produced from a mix of Ploussard (60%) and Pinot Noir (40%) which are co-fermented. The wine is then aged in stainless steel for one year and one year in 225 liter barrels. A single vineyard wine, the Bernardines site is within the confines of the village of Vadans.
Arbois Blanc Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes: aged sous voile for 24 months in small barrels ; a powerful, intensely aromatic wine with depth and the classic nuttiness found in the whites of Arbois; again from old vines (40 years plus).
Arbois Blanc “Cuvée des Moyne”: the “special” cuvée of the domaine, it is a blend of Chardonnay (80%) and Savagnin (20%) with both being co-fermented; the wine spends 30 months sous voile; another old vines bottling, in this case a blend of grapes of 40 to 70 years of age.
Arbois Blanc – Savagnin: a pure Savagnin prepared as if it were to be Vin Jaune; aged in 225 liter barrels “under the veil”.
Macvin “Hors d’Age”: made exclusively from old vines Chardonnay; Far and away the best Macvin we have ever tasted; aged 10 years in a single barrel; a sweet caramelized nose yet fresh and round on the palate. Great acidity.
A journalist asked us to send Joseph Dorbon a question about understanding the balance of a wine aged sous-voile, and he penned a rather insightful response, which is noted below in both French and English (Translation: Dillon Lerach): Responding to your question about oxidation, I will first assume that you are only speaking about whites. […]
Our people are cranking out some very fine wines! We drank again today three wines that have been sitting in our fridge OPEN since John Paine showed them to his New Orleans clients a couple of weeks ago.
Just in time to mark the beginning of July, we are all set to receive an impressive group of wines from the cool mountains of France. Specifically, we expect new arrivals from Joseph Dorbon and Mickael Crinquand in the Jura and Louis and Béatrice Magnin in the Savoie. It is no secret that we at […]