From the mind of one of Burgundy's greats, Guillaume D'Angerville's latest project steps out of his home region and looks to the off-the-beaten-path region of Jura.
Since 2012 Domaine du Pelican has been making thought-provokingly delicious juice, and with production as tiny as it is (the entire estate spans just 15 hectares) we’re incredibly lucky to have gotten our hands on these wines!
DOMAINE DU PELICAN | THE STORY
When Guillaume D’Angerville (of famous Burgundy house Marquis D’Angerville) and partner François Duvivier began to discuss expanding their vision outside of Burgundy, the little-known region of Jura may have been in their periphery but was by no means front and center.
As the story goes, the pair set their sights on this region after a fateful blind tasting at a Parisian restaurant. Presented with a glass of something white, they were shocked to learn that the elegant elixir in was in fact a Jura Chardonnay. They quickly began to look further into the region, going so far as to hire a geologist to conduct soil studies, and were exceptionally impressed by the findings.
“There’s a limestone corniche that gives us wines that are quite similar to those of Burgundy, but with more acidity, and there are clay-rich marls that give us wines that have power and an extraordinary minerality” tells Duvivier in a 2021 interview with Club Oenologique Magazine.
By 2012 the pair had decided to invest in the region, initially purchasing just 5 hectares of land but in doing so stirring international interest as the world asked "What is D'Angerville doing THERE?" Described as looking more like a cow pasture than a place vines would thrive, the two initially expressed doubt and went so far as to re-confirm with the geologist that this was in fact the actual plot of land he recommended.
Fast forward a few years and this plot has turned out to be their very best parcel; ‘Grand Curoulet.’ Over the last decade they have acquired an additional 10 hectares of land in Arbois, including 5 from the "Pope of Arbois" Jacques Puffeney (who serendipitously announced his retirement in 2014.) Following the same philosophies applied to the Burgundy holdings, all of Pelican's hectarage is farmed biodynamically. Growing both Burgundian and indigenous Jura varieties, the wines of Domaine du Pelican are undoubtably terroir driven, and a striking homage to the rewards of taking a risk.
Kevin had the pleasure of visiting the domain last February thanks to the help of Grand Cru Selections. Coincidentally, the winery whose small holdings and tiny facility require them to rent out a bottling machine ( a rather costly endeavor, ) was in the process of bottling the entirety of their harvest the very day Kevin arrived. Due to weather conditions the domain had a very small though high- quality yield. Nonetheless it was incredible to see just 4 people bottle an entire years worth of work in one afternoon.
Despite the pressing nature of the bottling, Duvivier was exceptionally gracious and spent a few hours showing off the facility and tasting through all of their wines with Kevin. The winery, a minimalist state of the art building nestled in the woods is as unsuspecting from the outside as it is awe-inspiring upon entering. The Burgundian money was bound to show itself at some point and the precision behind the selection of equipment could have come from none other than the Marquis D'Angerville. No detail left unconsidered, Pelican creates terroir driven wines that take themselves seriously.