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2021 Chignin Blanc

André & Michel Quenard

Discount Eligible $22.00

There is a stereotype about the wines of Savoie wherein they all taste like ice-cold spring water from a gurgling mountain stream you stumbled upon in an enchanted meadow just after zipping down a ski slope. This meadow typically has a fondue bar, to which local artisan cheesemakers carry the fruits of their labor via horseback exclusively for your enjoyment. The crisp white wine you sip impeccably cuts through decadent melty rinds, all while a fresh Alpine breeze provides invigorating contrast to the brilliant sunshine of this most perfect day.
     Alas, I am here to tell you that not all of Savoie’s wines taste like that. But this one most certainly does. The fruit is freshly picked, the flowers are in full bloom, and you can feel the stones from the rocky mountainsides crunching underfoot with each sip. Mouthwatering, and oh-so-satisfying.

Anthony Lynch

Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2021
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Jacquère
Appellation: Savoie
Country: France
Region: Savoie, Bugey, Hautes-Alpes
Producer: André & Michel Quenard
Winemaker: André & Michel Quenard
Vineyard: 30-60 years, 4 ha
Soil: Limestone Scree
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 11%

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About The Region

Savoie, Bugey, Hautes-Alpes

map of Savoie, Bugey, Hautes-Alpes

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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Inspiring Thirst

A good doctor prescribed the wine of Nuits-Saint-Georges to the Sun King, Louis XIV, when he suffered an unknown maladie. When the king’s health was restored the tasty remedy enjoyed a vogue at court. Lord, send me a doctor like that!

Inspiring Thirst, page 117