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2022 Savoie Les Abymes

André & Michel Quenard
Discount Eligible $21.00
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Still white wines, from the aptly named Rhône-Alps region, dynamically represent their parent climates: Rhône-like with their warm, sun-kissed expression of stone fruits, and Alp-like with their crystalline purity and cooling limestone minerality. Les Abymes, 100% Jacquère, is the most weightless and delicate expression of this combination I’ve ever tasted. They say “what grows together goes together,” but I paired Les Abymes with a very un-Savoyard and rather Italian spaghetti al limone, which felt as simple and celestial as pairings come.

Jane Augustine


Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2022
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Jacquère
Appellation: Savoie
Country: France
Region: Savoie, Bugey, Hautes-Alpes
Producer: André & Michel Quenard
Winemaker: André & Michel Quenard
Vineyard: 50 years, 1.14 ha
Soil: Marl, Limestone scree
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 12%

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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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Where the newsletter started

Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch

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