Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

White and red clay

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Domaine des Ardoisières is one of the up-and-comingest estates in the Savoie if not all of France. Its steep, terraced, mountain-side vineyards, formerly forest land above the village of Villard, were created in the late 1990s.

IGP Vin des Allobroges 2012, Argile blanc, Domaine des Ardoisières ($38.20, private import, 6 bottles/case, NLA)
Organically and biodynamically farmed Jacquère (40%), Chardonnay (40%) and Mondeuse Blanche (20%). The varieties are vinified separately. After manual harvesting and sorting, the whole clusters are lightly pressed. The musts are chilled, clarified by settling and transferred to third- to fifth-fill barrels for alcoholic fermentation using indigenous yeasts. Malolactic fermentation is not systematic. The wine is matured nine months (two-thirds in tanks, one-third in thrid- to fifth-fill barrels), then racked, blended, lightly filtered and bottled. Annual production: 10,000-15,000 bottles. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: La QV/Insolite.
Fresh and bracing nose of white minerals (think limestone, talc), spice, pear and apple. Direct and to the point on the palate. Ethereal despite its weight of extract. A mouth-filling matrix of quartz and flint lightly infused with lemony fruit and taut with acidity. The long, clean, faintly saline finish draws you back for another sip. A delight. (Buy again? Yes.)

IGP Vin des Allobroges 2012, Argile rouge, Domaine des Ardoisières ($47.35, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Organically and biodynamically farmed Gamay (80%) and Persan (20%). The varieties are vinified separately. After manual harvesting and sorting, the whole clusters are placed in open vats for alcoholic fermentation using indigenous yeasts. After two to three weeks’ maceration, the grapes are pressed and the must is transferred to vats for malolactic fermentation. The wine is then matured nine months in three- to five-year-old barrels, racked, blended, lightly filtered and bottled. Annual production: around 5,000 bottles. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: La QV/Insolite.
An explosion of red berries and dark minerals with hints of peppery spice and flowers (violet?). Light- to medium-bodied. Lithe, fresh and pure, pure, pure. Lifted by lip-smacking acidity and structured by light, velvety tannins, the tart and juicy fruit lasts well into the long finish, where it’s joined by undertones of dark earth, ferrous minerals and game. A truly memorable alpine red with a definite wild side. Pricey but I kept tasting it on my mind’s palate for days after the tasting – hard to put a price on that. (Buy again? Yes.)

MWG July 16th tasting: flight 2 of 6.

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Written by carswell

September 14, 2015 at 12:48

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