Jura is a phantom for me.  Quiet, mysterious, and elusive.  This is one of France’s smallest and lesser-known wine regions, situated east of Burgundy near the Swiss border. Jura’s craggy, gently rolling terroir holds the secrets of diverse and rambling microclimates- from limestone to marly soils, and from dry summers to cold winters.

From the few wines I have tasted so far, I believe Jura must be a woman.  Beautiful and multi-faceted, equally angelic, graceful, and yet completely frustrating.  I am totally captivated.

I tasted this gorgeous Jura wine from Michel Gahier on a dark, steamy night in San Francisco.  We were ensconced in one of the city’s most intriguing new restaurants, Commonwealth, when I had my first sip of this wine, made from Jura’s typical red grape, Trousseau.  First, the wine is bright, full of a lean acidity- long, elegant limbs confidently striding over ancient cobblestones, silk skirts floating over strong calves and ankles.  Then, there is a hint of black fruit- the aftertaste of a sun-ripened blackberry, and then nothing but dark, damp forest floor, mushrooms and tree bark.

This wine is a stunning enigma.  I had never tasted anything like it.  It is a first kiss, a long, hot look across a crowded room, a familiar embrace.

And now I want more.