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2015 Savoie Chignin Mondeuse “Vieilles Vignes”

André & Michel Quenard

2015 Savoie Chignin Mondeuse “Vieilles Vignes”  André & Michel Quenard - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
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.

Anthony Lynch

$29.00
Vintage: 2015
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Mondeuse
Appellation: Vin de Savoie
Country: France
Region: Savoie
Producer: André & Michel Quenard
Winemaker: André & Michel Quenard
Vineyard: 70 years, 2.8 ha
Soil: Clay, Limestone
Aging: Wine is aged in foudre for one year before bottling
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 12%

More from this Producer or Region

About Savoie

Fifteen or twenty years ago, there was little buzz about the wines of Savoie, the Alpine region hugging the Swiss and Italian borders. In fact, most wines from Savoie were some combination of overcropped, thin, searingly acidic, and painfully rustic; even the best examples rarely made it out of the local mountain resorts, where they were served as an après-ski to wash down many a melty croque-monsieur.

But all that has changed, and today Savoie produces a number of top-quality wines in all styles, from simple thirst-quenchers to wines of substantial gravity. Kermit sought out some of these wines early in his career, having imported the spritzy, mineral whites of Apremont and Chignin in the late 1970s.

With vineyards at the foot of the Alps that occasionally climb to higher elevations, Savoie is defined by its mountain-influenced climate and extremely rocky terrain, with abundant limestone. Thanks to a diversity of indigenous grape varieties, quality-oriented growers with the choicest parcels—steep and well-exposed—can craft anything from crisp, low-alcohol whites from Jacquère to deep, gamey reds from Mondeuse. More serious whites are made from Altesse as well as Bergeron, the local name for Roussanne, which the Romans planted on the slopes of Chignin around the same time as they introduced it to the Rhône Valley.

Savoie’s diversity of styles and distinct sub-regions, from Arbin to Seyssel to the Bugey (technically not a part of Savoie, but included here for convenience) makes it a fascinating region for the thirsty explorer. There is no better place to look for brisk mountain refreshment.

More from Savoie or France

2011 Royal Seyssel

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Petit Royal

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Bugey-Cerdon “La Cueille”

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$23.00
$29.00

2014 Saint-Véran “Les Pommards Vieilles Vignes”

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2008 Pomerol

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2016 Côtes-du-Rhône “Sierra du Sud”

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2014 Aloxe-Corton “Clos du Chapitre” 1er Cru

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2013 Chambolle-Musigny

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2013 Faugères “Valinière”

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2015 Terrasses du Larzac

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2013 Chinon “Clos du Chêne Vert”

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We only import wine we drink and enjoy ourselves, directly from the source.

Our wine tastes the same in your home as it did where it was bottled in Europe.

Like the long-term relationships we build with growers, we build long-term relationships with our clients. Have a question? Need wine advice? Just gives us a call—510-524-1524.

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