Getting off our little summertime Riesling kick from the last few weeks, but still looking to enjoy a great wine to chill down for hot weather with a bit of obscurity this time. The Savoie region is off the traditional tourist line for French travelers, unless you are looking for spectacular mountain scenery, in which case it's one of the great alpine wine regions of the world. The wines are also becoming more popular with drinkers looking for lower alcohol options. Based along the Swiss border (the closest and most influential major city by a wide margin is Geneva) the region's most important grape by volume is Jacquere, a variety that rarely gets planted anywhere in the world except upon these mountainous vineyard sites. Apremont and Abymes are the two most important sites here, somewhat morbidly named in honor of a terrible landslide off of Mont Granier that buried several villages and thousands of villagers nearly 800 years ago. Apremont (the 'bitter mountain') sits at the higher elevation along the mountain, and this bottling takes advantage of some of the higher parcels to catch precious extra hours of sunlight each season, milking out every last drop of ripeness and intensity that can be found in the delicate Jacquere grape. This 'intensity', of course, is all relative.
If you ever heard the word 'crystalline' to describe a wine and wondered what they meant by it, this is the perfect example of that term. Clear light gold in color, the aromas are mostly fresh white fruits with hints of zest and musky melon rind, but all at a very low volume of intensity. The palate is crystalline, and there just isn't any way of getting around that word, with the freshness like mountain stream water punctuated with citrusy acidity that leaves your mouth watering for minutes afterwards. At barely over 10%abv, your first instinct is to think the wine is hiding some residual sugar somewhere. For this grape in this environment it just ripens without much sugar, so this is completely dry and the weight is purely from quality natural ripeness. This is about as refreshing a wine as you can find out there, excellent with a chill to it and ideal with summer salads and cooled seafood dishes.
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We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!