A Legend from Jura's Old School: 1983 Camille Loye Arbois Chardonnay Cuvee St. Paul

Posted by Joe Salamone

Epic Back-Vintage Rarity
from Jura's Old-School Legend
1983 Camille Loye
Arbois Chardonnay Cuvée St. Paul

When it comes to Jura Chardonnays in an oxidative style, Camille Loye has supplied me with my most memorable bottles.

And that's by a long shot.

The long-retired Camille Loye is one of the legendary old-school growers of the Jura. Today, he's over ninety years old and, thankfully, he has a library of older vintages that he releases when they're ready to drink.

The results are revelatory. I first tasted Loye's wines during my first trip to Jura some years ago at Jean-Paul Jeunet, arguably Jura' best restaurant. I was just blown away by a 1987 Chardonnay. During every subsequent trip to Jura, I've filled my luggage with bottles of Loye.

I've been looking for a large enough parcel of Loye's wines to offer ever since. And finally, a little over a month ago received an offer for some of Loye's reds from 89 and 88. And a bit later, I received an offer for Loye's 1983 St. Paul Chardonnay and I jumped on it. Just to highlight the rarity here, I should mention that these are the only bottles on offer in the world.

1983 was a very strong vintage in the Jura (calling it great is probably fair) and Loye's 83 Chardonnay St. Paul is a legend among the lucky few who know his wines. Loye only bottled in the best vintages; the rest he just sold off. Even amongst the best vintages of the eighties, the reputation of Loye's 1983 looms large.

The style of Loye's Chardonnays is soulful and harmonious. They are expansive and complex with layers of spice, stone fruits, dried yellow fruits, mushrooms and minerals. There's a combination of length, balance and overall palate presence that makes these Loye's Chardonnays so impressive.

Loye's wines allow for a glance at one of the masters of yesteryear. The 1983 Chardonnay St. Paul is just a gorgeous wine. There's no getting around that's it not cheap, but considering the provenance, rarity and quality the pricing is very fair.

I should also mention that as it approaches its thirtieth birthday, Loye's 83 is still full of youthful energy.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits