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2022 Roussette de Savoie “Les Craies”

André & Michel Quenard
Discount Eligible $27.00
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The Altesse grape, also known as Roussette, did not get its name by accident. Translated to “Highness”—as in, Your Highness—Altesse is perhaps Savoie's most...well, noble, native variety. It boasts delicate, complex floral aromatics, fantastic acidity, and well-made versions such as this one also have a capacity to age and transform in bottle over many years. The wine is bone-dry but offers a wonderful nose of bergamot and honeysuckle, along with a zippy freshness supported by all the Alpine minerality you would expect from fruit grown in stony soils in the Alps. Locals drink it with melty cheeses (think fondue and raclette) and delicate freshwater fish, but this white is quite versatile: savor it on its own before a meal or with salads, fried foods, or anything with a touch of spiciness. Another glass please, Your Highness!

Anthony Lynch


Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2022
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Altesse
Appellation: Roussette de Savoie
Country: France
Region: Savoie, Bugey, Hautes-Alpes
Producer: André & Michel Quenard
Winemaker: Guillaume Quenard
Vineyard: 30 years, .3 ha
Soil: Marl, Limestone scree
Aging: Aged in stainless steel tank for 6 to 8 months
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
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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Old cob-webbed wine bottles

Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.