Browse Tag


Easter noir

Dupasquier 2011 Pinot (Savoie) — I suppose my first error here was thinking the region and expecting this to be one of those rock-driven, ungenerous mountain pinots. It’s not. There’s minerality, for sure, but it’s aromatically warm and enveloping, showing even more pinot noir than Savoie at the moment. I expect this will age, but I have doubts regarding my ability to stop drinking it while it does. (5/16)

Don’t cry for me, natural ferments

Péron 2009 “Côtillon des dames” (Savoie) – Slowly refermenting. That is to say, it starts out a little stenchy and a fair bit volatile, turns fizzy, starts to smell a lot worse, then ends up tasting like something we would have dared each other to drink in high school chem lab. (2/12)

Marestel bliss

Domaine Dupasquier 2004 Roussette de Savoie Altesse “Marestel” (Savoie) – Like drinking a wrench. An adjustable wrench. Firm columns of minerals in motion, circling a melting core of ice. See? A wrench! (11/11)

Jousses one trip

Belluard 2009 Vin de Savoie Terroir du Mont Blanc “Grand Jousses” Cépage Altesse (Savoie) – Flat plains of minerality, broadened to the horizon. Yet despite the breadth there’s a nervousness to the wine, a tension. And on the gripping hand, shyly floral flashes. I’d say this needs time, even on the night, but it’s gone like summer lightning…which, by itself, says something. (11/11)

Newt Gringet

Belluard 2009 Vin de Savoie Terroir du Mont Blanc “Les Alpes Cépage Gringet” (Savoie) – This unfolds very slowly, but by the second or third chapter you realize you’re rapt. At first, it’s just a nice little Alpine white with an edge of something vaguely nutty or floral. But then there’s plot development, a narrative, an ebb and flow and characters move in and out of the story in an orderly fashion. Complexities are those of soil and sky: liquid minerals, yes, but also hues and qualities of light. The end comes with a richer, rounder, and more satisfying story than was evident at the beginning (and being closer to room than cellar temperature doesn’t hurt in this regard, either). I kinda love this. (11/11)

Don’t cry for me, mondeuse

Péron 2009 Vin de Pays d’Allobrogie “Cote Pelée” Mondeuse (Savoie) – Tastes like Natural Wine™; Pop Rock-ish with the faux-fizz texture endemic to the category, a little brett (just enough to add aromatic complexity, not enough to cause nose-pinching), spiky and somewhat untamed acidity. What it adds in addition to the naturalista checklist are a chewier, dried plum fruit than is the norm, and also a wave-compression of tannin that one must push through to get to the midpalate. Made differently, I’d wager on this aging; as it stands, I’m staying out of the gambling business. It’s very, very good, but do note what it is (and isn’t) before proceeding. (11/11)


Vullien 2009 Vin de Savoie Montmélian (Savoie) – Stern, rocky, firm. Somewhat above it all. But the ground lemon-glass texture and grayscale minerality are quite appealing. (6/11)


Carrel & Fils 2009 Jongieux (Savoie) – Like snow on a seashore, crisp and flaking, a brittle carapace disintegrating around a wet, slightly saline chill. Someone might once have walked on this beach carrying a lime, but they left with it ages ago. The stark absence of this wine is very appealing. (8/10)


Raymond Quenard 2004 Chignin (Savoie) – Biting and overly brittle, showing iced-acid structure and bitter, rindy fruit. This bottle has character to spare, but I find it oddly repellent. (8/07)

TN: My two gods

[Savoie]Raymond Quenard 2004 Chignin Mondeuse (Savoie) – A little bottle-funky at first opening, but this eventually drifts away, leaving a wine that’s surprisingly structured and hard-edged given its light, high-mountain strawberry fruit. There’s crisp acidity, but the tannin is definitely the main player here (not that there’s a lot of it, just a lot vs. the other elements), and I’m not sure the wine is fully integrated yet. Long- or short-term, then, it needs to age. But I think the result will be worth it. (12/06)