Your Wine IQ

Jurançon


Wine By Region Right Europe Right France Right Southwest Right Jurançon


Jurançon is located in the southern portion of Southwest France, quite far from Bordeaux, but the sought-after sweet wines made here are notably similar to Sauternes cuvées. They have a similarly rich, honeyed flavor, although Jurançon wines are more floral than fruity. There has been some controversy over whether Jurançon wines are actually botrytized, and it has come to light that some of them may merely be late-harvested. Not surprisingly, the best are indeed botrytized by the Sauternes method.

Jurançon vineyards are in 25 villages and encompass about 2,000 acres. About 400,000 cases of wine are produced here each year, but this is a tricky figure, because only about 100,000 of these are sweet Jurançon. The remaining 300,000 are the much less well-known dry Jurançon Sec styles.

History

Although Jurançon does not have a long winemaking history, it was officially recognized in 1936, making it one of the first appellations in France to receive its AOC status.

Climate and Viticulture

Situated close to the southern border of France, in the foothills of the Pyrenées mountains, these vineyards benefit from a warm, rainy Mediterranean climate. The best vineyards are located on steep mountain terraces with limestone soils.

Grape Varieties

The grapes used in Jurançon are local grapes only: Gros Manseng, Petite Manseng, Petite Courbu, and Courbu Blanc. In general, these high-status wines are rich and honeyed, and offer up a bouquet of floral nuances, spice, and quince. The dry wines are more average, with citrussy flavors.

Major Producers

We list five producers who offer great Jurançon.

Subregions

No subregions of note.