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2022 Savoie Chignin Pinot Noir

A et M Quenard
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If any Pinot Noir on these pages is built for the Parisian bistro or Lyonnais bouchon, it is this one from the hills of Chignin, in Savoie. The vines’ southeastern exposure gives them plenty of sunlight, resulting in a ripe and succulent rouge perfect for your next picnic or family gathering.

Tom Wolf

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2022
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Savoie Chignin
Country: France
Region: Savoie, Bugey, Hautes-Alpes
Producer: André & Michel Quenard
Vineyard: 20-25 years, .65 ha
Soil: Clay, Limestone
Farming: Haute Valeur Environnementale (certified)
Alcohol: 13%

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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

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