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2015 Chignin Gamay

A. & M. Quenard

2015 Chignin Gamay A. & M. Quenard - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Gamay has found a home away from home in the vineyards of Savoie, high on a mountain in the hands of the Quenard family. The chilly Alpine climate and rocky limestone soil of Chignin allow for a unique expression of the grape: lean, juicy, and explosively aromatic, with a salivating minerality that keeps you coming back for more. Unassuming enough to be uncorked for the most trivial of reasons, it radiates a vivid fragrance of smashed raspberries, then briskly and crunchily greets the palate before finishing on a note of powdered stone. Drink it frequently, slightly cool, and with gusto. –Anthony Lynch
$18.95
Vintage: 2015
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Gamay
Appellation: Vin de Savoie
Country: France
Region: Savoie
Producer: A. & M. Quenard
Winemaker: André & Michel Quenard
Vineyard: 30 years, 2.5 ha
Soil: Steep limestone scree slopes
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

Lambert de Seyssel  France  |  Savoie  |  Seyssel

$24.00
$29.00
$29.00

Bugey-Cerdon “La Cueille”

Patrick Bottex  France  |  Savoie  |  Vin du Bugey

$23.00

Petit Royal

Lambert de Seyssel  France  |  Savoie  |  Seyssel

$19.00

NV Brut 1er Cru “Grande Réserve”

Veuve Fourny & Fils  France  |  Champagne  |  Vertus

$49.00

2014 Chablis Vaudésir Grand Cru

Domaine Roland Lavantureux  France  |  Burgundy  |  Chablis

$78.00

2016 Muscadet “Le Clos de la Butte”

Éric Chevalier  France  |  Loire  |  Muscadet Côtes de Grand Lieu

$16.00

2015 Vin de France Rouge “Monte Bianco”

Domaine Comte Abbatucci  France  |  Corsica  |  Ajaccio

$92.00
$39.00

2014 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Chaignots

Domaine Robert Chevillon  France  |  Burgundy  |  Nuits-Saint-Georges

$121.00

2013 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “Gorges”

Domaine Michel Brégeon  France  |  Loire  |  Muscadet

$40.00

I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.

Inspiring Thirst, page 171

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