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Scaling the western flank of the French Alps, the Savoie region is off the beaten path for most travelers. Yet those who do visit this mountainous haven will be thrilled to discover stunning scenery, delicious local cuisine, and a thriving Alpine wine culture based on a variety of indigenous grapes. This Chignin bottling from the Quenard family, a local winemaking authority boasting several generations’ worth of experience, spotlights seventy-year-old Mondeuse vines clinging to steep, high-altitude limestone rubble—an extreme terroir that requires serious determination and physical endurance to farm. While Mondeuse can tend toward the rustic, this one is refined for a year in wood foudres before bottling. It has often been likened to a cross between Pinot Noir and Syrah: bright, elegant, and floral, with suggestions of wild fruit, blood, and minerals.
|Appellation:||Vin de Savoie|
|Producer:||André & Michel Quenard|
|Winemaker:||André & Michel Quenard|
|Vineyard:||70 years, 2.8 ha|
|Aging:||Wine is aged in foudre for one year before bottling|
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch