The village of chignin is among Savoie’s top crus, and this family-run domaine—now headed by Guillaume Quenard, the fourth successive generation to tackle these daunting slopes—has a history of doing this terroir justice. Jacquère takes on an intensely mineral expression in these “soils” of lime-stone scree—rocks that have broken off the mountain over tens of thousands of years of erosion. This is particularly true of this cuvée from seventy-year-old vines that have set their roots deep into this stony pile of rubble. The nose is delightfully fruity with nectarine, peach, and citrus, along with a talc-like dusting of minerals. On the palate, you’ll find the same succulent fruit backed by bright acidity and a cool-climate snappiness as pure as melted snow. Few things are more satisfying as an apéritif than a chilled glass of this Alpine elixir.
The Savoie is a picture of fairy-tale perfection: snow-capped peaks, rolling hills, and sparkling mountain streams. This idyllic region is where Michel Quenard farms twenty-two hectares of vineyards along the steep slopes around Chignin. His grandfather started the domaine in the 1930s. Though he slowly increased his vineyard holdings, he mostly sold off his wine. It wasn’t until 1960 that Michel’s father, André, began bottling under their own label. Michel joined the domaine in 1976. Today, he is joined by his sons, Guillaume and Romain. Their cuvées go beyond the simple “eclectic” that categorizes wines from Savoie; they are unique revelations that reflect the complexity of their terroir and the artistry of this master.
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