Wines to Seek Out
There is a lot of terrain, texture and sensation to explore with Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot's wines, and I will admit that they need repeat tastings to fully appreciate. The winery is certified biodynamic through Demeter, and the style for white wines is centered on reduction rather than oxidation (in other words, keeping the wines away from oxygen exposure, which is not a given in the Jura). They also make a lot of different wines: various single-vineyard Chardonnay, Savagnin, Pinot Noir, Trousseau, Poulsard, the oxidative (and highly coveted) Vin Juane and even sparkling wine.
For me, the following three wines stand out.
Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot Crémant du Jura
My neighborhood is blessed with one of my city's most compelling restaurants, a "gastropub" where the wine list is always on point, and the seasonal dishes have been mostly ripped from the chef's private garden. In this context, Tissot's Crémant du Jura makes perfect sense as a mainstay on their by-the-glass menu. We order it all the time. It's precise but not fussy, and as toasty as the restaurant's ambiance. Outside this context, I've also given it as a birthday or anniversary gift to friends who don't collect wine. It's a tremendous value, and it usually blows them away.
Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot "Patchwork" Arbois Chardonnay
This Chardonnay is wild. I love its plentiful surprises. Made from a mixture of clay and limestone parcels (thus the English vanity name for the wine), this wine wants to be all things to all people, and it very nearly achieves that. Want richness? Complexity? Focus? Freshness? Check, check, check, check. The aromas morph from tropical to savory, zesty to toasted, and on the palate it twists and turns and broadens out on the finish. It won't exhaust your palate or lose the narrative, and given its price tag (roughly $35-$40 depending on vintage), it punches well above its weight class.
Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot "En Barberon" Côtes du Jura Pinot Noir
The "En Barberon" Pinot Noir demonstrates Stéphane's measured winemaking very well. It manages to be sprightly and playful, yet fascinating — and with great depth — at the same time. Dark raspberries, musk, creme brûlée and spearmint-like tones mark its place.