Clos Guirouilh 'Jurançon Sec' 2017
Producer: Jean Guirouilh
Varietal: Gros Manseng, Petit Courbu
Clos Guirouilh is among the most hard-core, traditional domaines of Jurançon, a rare producer who provides us a window into the historic soul of a wine region. When we arrived in his remote hamlet in rural southwestern France one dark and stormy winter night, meeting Jean Guirouilh was reminiscent of meeting with the storied Barolo traditionalist, Bartolo Mascarello. One is immediately aware of the legacy of history and dedication to an unchanged, time-honed craft. Then, of course, we tasted his incredible Jurançon wines, and we were completely mesmerized. Jean Guirouilh is part of a line of vignerons that have been making wine in Jurançon since the 16th century. This lineage has remained unbroken even during two world wars, during which the women took over running the estate while the men were involved in the resistance war effort. Today the continuity is assured as the baton is being passed to Jean’s daughter Marie-Françoise and her husband, Luis. Both have been assisting Jean Guirouilh for years. The grapes for this Jurançon Sec--85% Gros Manseng, 15% Petit Courbu--are harvested first, all manually. Then the grapes are completely destemmed and gently crushed in a pneumatic press. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts occurs in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, where the wine further ages for one year. This cuvée goes through partial malolactic fermentation--around 25%.