This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Sweet Regional France over £15 went to Rolet Pere & Fils, Vin de Paille, Arbois 2005 (15.7%)

Tasted against:

  • Domaine Cauhapé, Quintessence du Petit Manseng, Jurançon 2010
  • Domaine du Cinquau, L’Esprit, Jurançon 2011
  • Famille Fezas, Domaine Chiroulet, Vent d’Hiver, IGP Côtes de Gascogne 2011


Jura is an underground hit among wine aficionados, who love its old vines, quirky grape varieties and original winemakers.

Désiré Rolet established his family company in the early 1940s and it has now become the secondlargest producer in the region, with 58 hectares. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir account for half of the holdings, with the balance made up of regional specialities Savagnin, Poulsard and Trousseau.

Guy and Bernard Rolet are winemaker and vineyard manager here respectively, with sister Eliane and brother Pierre in charge of sales and daily operations. The vineyards feature gravels and an array of marls at altitudes of up to 400m. Herbs are planted in between rows, forcing the vines to dig deep, and keeping erosion to the minimum. Harvest is spread across four weeks in September and October.

Vin de Paille is both a curio and one of the wines for which the region is best known. This Trophy-winner is 20% Poulsard, with the balance equal parts Chardonnay and Savagnin. The grapes are dried for at least three months to concentrate sugars before fermentation, which stops at about 60g/l of residual sugar (less than half that of a modern Sauternes).

Written by Decanter