Domaine Jean-François Ganevat – Fanfan garners more fans

les caves de pyrene

“To say that his grapes are spun into gold would not be far from the truth; they are entirely otherworldly.” -Kermit Lynch

Based in La Combe, a tiny hamlet of clickety-click inhabitants above the village of Rotalier,  Jean-François Ganevat, aka Fanfan, makes a staggering number of cuvĂ©es. Jean-François came back to run the family estate in 1998 after ten years working in Burgundy with Jean-Marc Morey and he combines his passion for the Jura terroir – here ideal for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – with a staunch defence of Burgundian techniques; low yields and most recently biodynamic methods (nettles, dandelion, horsetails, silica etc.) for which he has now gained Demeter certification. Ganevat’s yields are often in the single digits, showing a fanatical attention to quality. Although he works biodynamically and makes all his wines with wild yeast ferments, no temperature control and zero sulphur there is no doubting the superb terroir definition in every one of his wines. Elegant nervy Puligny-esque Chardonnays from centenarian vines on mineral soils that would get the stoniest of Burghounds whiffling appreciatively; oh-so-pale delicate Poulsard with whiplash acidity; intensely mineral Pinot, and wild Trousseau. There is also a vin de soif “Un vin de table fait de bric et de broc” called J’en veux!!!, weighing in at a thirst-allaying 9.5% which happens to be a blend of 17 indigenous grapes.

2009 Pinot Noir « Julien Ganevat » sans souffre

CuvĂ©e Julien is named after the grandfather of Jean-François, and the schistous vineyard from which the Pinot Noir hails was planted partly in 1951, with the remainder of the planting being added in 1977. 2009 is a superb vintage in the Jura and the CuvĂ©e Julien is a terrific wine
.one of great vitality, structure and harmony. On the nose the wine is rich in earth and minerals with spicy, red cherry fruits with some redcurrant and light raspberry high tones. It shimmers with pristine clarity and smells so beautifully pure with hints of leather, game, dried flowers, baking spices and stone. Taut, light of body and energetic on the palate with pure, fragrant red cherry and redcurrant fruits. The final linear mineral surge on the palate brings forth an unerring sense of place. Great stuff from Fanfan.



WIN a MAGNUM of this beautiful wine! Why? Because we’re feeling generous…

All you have to do is LIKE us on Facebook and LEAVE A COMMENT on this here blog post telling us what your favourite natural wine is! (be sure to leave your email too!)

Winner will be drawn at random on Friday the 18th October.

*You must reside within the UK to enter

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. lucy pink

    2010 Nicolas Carmarans Mauvais Temps

  2. Sam Howard

    Choosing your favourite Natural wine is only one step easier than choosing your favourite wine – but still near damn impossible.
    For the sake of this competition and to win this fine prize, which may I addeasily addwork exceptionally well this festive season. I will tip my cap and show support for Oliver Cousin, or is that an AOC, I easily get confused

  3. Sam Pink

    2008 Mauvais Temps from Nicolas Carmarans

  4. Ieva

    Zidarich Vitovska

  5. Charles Wharton

    Favourite natural wine…it would have to be Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur Blanc Insolite – delicious, especially as the cooler evenings close in. Yum!

  6. Trevor Kensit

    Le Grand Blanc – Henri Milan… Superb

  7. CJ Thorne

    That’s hard to pick just one but I do love the Teroldego from Foradori

  8. Graeme Taylor

    I imagine my first will be my favourite as despite having a wonderful article on natural wines have still not managed to taste any myself yet! I look forward to it!!

  9. Mark Evans

    ‘PoignĂ©e des raisins’ from Domaine Gramenon. Just absolutely lovely.

  10. Dan

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm tough choice!

    If pushed I would say the most thrilling Loire sauvignon blanc I have ever tasted is the wild ferment ‘Sauvageonne’ by Domaine les Griottes – pure magic!

  11. Troy Chandler

    Still discovering more by the day, but some fantastic South Australian minimal intervention wines, including those of Ochota Barrels, Ruggabellus and Jauma.

  12. Alasdair

    Foillard’s Cuvee 3.14

  13. Steven

    Ganevats own Les Chalasses Chardonnay or Mr Fricks Riesling Bihl!

  14. Federico Ferrer

    If I were to choose only one natural wine I guess that would be Viña Regueiral, a 100% mencia varietal from the Sil river canyons in central Galicia, Spain, D.O. Ribeira Sacra. Just 5.700 bottles from a small plot with traditional (I would say artisanal) processes: hand picked, fermented in inox vat, no aging in wood barrel, and wonderful nose and taste. My 2013’s discovery.


  15. Carlos

    Vodopivec Vitovska Amphora 2006 . weightless, ether-like tannins!

  16. I’ll go for Daniel Ramos (Zebreros Finca), especially his Garnachas and Albillos.

  17. Mattia

    La Stoppa “Ageno” and Gabrio Bini Serragghia Bianco Zibibbo

  18. Rachael Hogg

    2009 Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Cuvée Gamay

  19. Andrea

    Very tough choice!
    I like a lot of natural wine.
    So, I choose Fortana dei Boschi – Vittorio Graziano. Real wine, no additives.

  20. Dan

    Hard stuff choosing one… So I will say that this evening I’d like to have Thierry Puzelat’s Romorantin

  21. Tony Gott

    George Descombes Brouilly, just so ‘crunchy’ …

  22. David Crossley

    Slightly unfair as I follow you on Twitter but don’t “do” Facebook. I think that my favourites change, but last week at a stunning Jura event, the wines of a certain Fra…Mo…

    I dare not be any more specific. He has no UK importer, no wine to sell right now, but goodness his wines are good (and I know Jura wine).

    But Ganevat’s not bad either ;), though I understand that both can be a touch grumpy on occasion.

  23. Hey, what’s this sneaky asterisk that says “You must reside within the UK to enter”???? Did that go up after I’d won?? 🙂

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