André & Michel Quenard 2018 Savoie “Les Abymes”


750 ml, 100% Jacquère

The Savoie is a picture of fairy-tale perfection: snow-capped peaks, green rolling hills, wildflowers, and cold, sparkling mountain streams. This idyllic region hugs the western Alps, where Michel Quenard and his family farm twenty-two hectares of vineyards along the steep, rocky slopes of the Coteau de Torméry around Chignin. The limestone scree that makes up this vineyard land, resulting from millions of years of erosion of the majestic peaks of the Massif des Bauges, lends great character to the wines produced here.

Michel’s grandfather started the domaine in the 1930s. Though he slowly increased the vineyard holdings, he also sold off most of his wine in bulk. It was not until 1960 that Michel’s father, André, began bottling under their own label. Armed with a degree in viticulture and enology from Beaune, Michel joined the domaine in 1976, expanding vineyard holdings and making improvements to the cellar. Today, he is joined by his son Guillaume. While they are far from the only Quenards in Chignin, they are certainly the most well-known—perhaps this is due to the severity of their terrain and the quality of wines it produces. Andrew Jefford writes in his contemporary classic, The New France, “Michel Quenard and his father André are masters of the Bergeron grape, known in the Rhône Valley and elsewhere as Roussanne. They argue it should be limited to the best and steepest local sites where it can ripen fully, like the Coteau de Torméry, giving wines of real texture and perfume as it does so.” (p 122). We think it is one of the most unique and beautiful renditions of Roussanne in the world.

Despite the domaine’s proximity to the Alps, the vineyards enjoy a surprisingly warm microclimate with southern sun exposure. Fig and olive trees are also found among the vines, unusual for such a snowy region. There are sixteen crus in the Vin de Savoie designation, and each commune is known for a different grape varietal. Michel’s vineyards are planted to some of the region’s best known: Bergeron, Jacquère, Mondeuse, Altesse, and Pinot Noir. Michel and Guillaume bottle multiple cuvées, highlighting the region’s diversity of cépages and the different terroirs they farm. The minerality of their vineyards expresses an alpine freshness and liveliness in their wines. Their cuvées go beyond the simple “eclectic” that categorizes wines from the region; whether they are quaffed or savored, they are all unique revelations that reflect the complexity of their terroir and the fine artistry of this master vigneron.

Collections: France, French - Other White, Wine

Type: WINE

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