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Fill out your info and we will notify you when the 2019 Chignin Gamay André & Michel Quenard is back in stock or when a new vintage becomes available.


2019 Chignin Gamay

André & Michel Quenard

Should you ever spend any time skiing, snowshoeing, or simply enjoying the winter sights in French Alps towns like Megève or Val-d’Isère, you will no doubt want a glass of the region’s wine to go with your fire upon returning from the cold. You would do well with a bottle of Jacquère—Savoie’s signature crisp white wine— but if you are in the mood for a red that isn’t too heavy, try this lively Chignin Gamay from André and Michel Quenard. The Quenards have been making wine just west of the Alps for almost a century, and today they represent one of Chignin’s essential family domaines. André and Michel are now largely retired; Guillaume, the next generation, oversees the vines and the cellar, producing stellar wines from this off-thebeaten-path region. Even though he fashions this cuvée from the Beaujolais’s star grape variety, this is very much Gamay from Savoie, and not its neighbor more than a hundred miles to the northwest. With notes of mixed black and red fruit and a spine of minerality, Quenard’s Gamay is crunchier, more aromatic, and more succulent than most bottles you’d find in Beaujolais. Après-ski doesn’t get much better than this.

Tom Wolf

Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2019
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Gamay
Appellation: Vin de Savoie
Country: France
Region: Savoie and Bugey
Producer: André & Michel Quenard
Winemaker: André & Michel Quenard
Vineyard: 30 years, 2.5 ha
Soil: Steep limestone scree slopes
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 13.5%

More from this Producer or Region

About Savoie and Bugey

map of Savoie and Bugey

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.

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When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174

Kermit once said...
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