At just 50 hectares Chateau Chalon is home to the extraordinary Vin Jaune (“Yellow wine”), made from the Savagnin varietal. The grapes are harvested late and then aged in small oak barrels for a minimum of 6 years and 3 months (although some producers age their Vin Jaune for up to 10 years in barrel). The slightly porous oak barrels are, by design, not completely airtight, and a considerable portion – nearly 40% - of the wine therefore evaporates over the years (the so-called “angels share). No topping up is done. A thick layer of flor yeast, known as the voile or veil, looking like a white foam, develops on the surface of the wine and helps prevent excessive oxidation. This aging method, similar to that used for fino sherry in Spain, but in France specific to the Jura, allows the wine to acquire its distinct flavours, characteristic of walnut, almond, spice and apple, before release. This remarkable dry wine, at its best immensely complex and very aromatic, is best appreciated after at least 10-15 years in bottle and has the ability, in good vintages, to age for a century or more. This unique wine is bottled in a unique bottle, squat with a deep punt, called a “clavelin”. Each clavelin has a capacity of 62cl (0.62 litres) – based on the fact that for every litre of newly made wine put into barrel, just 62 centilitres is left after nearly six and a half years of ageing. Vin Jaune is the only wine allowed to be sold in France in a bottle of this capacity. The wines of Château Chalon are distinguished by an additional escutcheon at the base of the neck. How to describe MariePierre’s Château Chalon? Green walnut, caraway, fenugreek seed, pickled ginger jostle for attention with a hint of medlar segueing into peanut brittle and salted caramel. The finish is taut, verging on stony-metallic with gripping lemon-grazed acidity and an amazing nuttiness that reverberates around the palate for such a long time.