Forget everything you know about Savoy wines. In particular, the one you bought during a stay in the snow and that made you grit your teeth in a way you still remember. Gone are the days of green, lean and acidic wines, Savoie is now working towards producing quality wines thanks to its great terroirs. Explanations...
2,100 acres. Soils in Savoie are quite variable, there are stony soils resulting from erosion called glacial moraines. In reality, the freezing and thawing of glaciers fractures the rock and carries away the rock debris. Granite and shale are also part of the landscape. The vineyards are located around Chambéry on the Côtes de l'Isère and around Aix les Bains and are shaped by the Rhône. For red wines, the grape varieties are Mondeuse (emblematic), Gamay, Pinot Noir. For the whites, the Jacquère, the Roussane (Chignin-Bergeron), the Altesse (AOC Roussette de Savoie) are part of it. I'm discovering a great interest in Persian, which I personally find to be of great complexity (an aromatic blend between Pinot Noir and Gamay).
There are four appellations : Vin de Savoie and Roussette de Savoie represent the main part of the vineyard, to which are added two small appellations which are Seyssel and Crépy. Nineteen crus can add their names to the two main appellations: Arbin, Ripaille, Marin, Marignan, Ayze, Frangy, Chautagne, Jongieux, Chignin, Apremont, Abymes, Marestel, Monthoux, Monterminod, Saint-Jeoire-Prieuré, Cruet, Montmélian, Saint-Jean-de-laPorte and Chignin-Bergeron.
The estates are rather small, the plots are under control. One can feel the deep conviction of the winegrowers to produce quality wines through a respect for the terroir and the vineyard. Many young winegrowers share this credo. The wines of this region have a unique model: confidential quantities, restricted and very local distribution.
Jean François Quénard
Benjamin Gras (Les Grappes)
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