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Les Vins du Léman 'Quintessence' Chasselas, Vin des Allobroges, Savoie, France 2019

  • $22.00

Selling fast  - 1 left

  • Winemaker: Dominique Lucas
  • Farming: Organic & Biodynamic farming
  • Variety: Chasselas (planted in 1990s)
  • Terroir: Glacial moraines, molasse, silt. Western exposure.
  • Vinification: Picked in 2 passes at harvest, gentle pressing, ambient yeast fermentation (16°C) in fiber tanks and demi-muids.
  • Aging: Aged 7 months, light filtration (white earth), no SO2 added until bottling (30 ppm max).
  • Tasting Note:  Dry and bright, lemon and grapefruit, savory orange oil, a touch of white pepper and fleur de sel, and an alpine herbaceousness.

Dominique descends from a family of Burgundian winemakers, but rather than pursue a career there, he set out after his studies for a little pocket of the Savoie tucked into the southern French shores of Lake Léman (aka Geneva). 

From our October 2023 Bottle Club notes:

Les Vins du Léman Quintessence Chasselas, Vin des Allobroges, Savoie, France 2019

Disenchanted with the constraints of the Burgundy appellation system, Dominique Lucas, a scion of a Burgundian winemaking family, embarked on a journey that led him to the shores of Lake Geneva, or as it's known in France, Lac Léman. Drawn by the promise of exceptional vineyards at reasonable prices, he moved his life to the Savoie, a gorgeous, pastoral area of eastern France along the Swiss border, and in homage to Lake Geneva, founded his winery Les Vins du Léman.
Being in the French Alps, this area is also famous for its ski resorts. The steep mountains are blanketed by snow in the winter, but summers are sizzling hot. Luckily, the famous Lake Geneva has a serious moderating effect on the wine-growing areas, preventing extreme temperature fluctuations or springtime frosts. During the day, the lake absorbs heat, and during the night, it releases it, creating a more stable and mild microclimate around the vineyards. The terroir here was cut by ancient glaciers, and the vineyards are comprised of free-draining glacial morasses, limestone, and marl.  

Dominique farms 27 parcels of vines completely biodynamically, and his holdings include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and the local Savignin and Petite Arvine. His commitment to biodynamic practices led him to cultivate 30+-year-old Chasselas vines, a specialty of neighboring Switzerland. The vines face west, soaking up the late afternoon light, ripening evenly to develop complex flavors while being protected from the harshest morning sun, preventing excessive heat stress. 

With meticulous care, Dominique harvests the grapes in two passes, ensuring optimal ripeness, then gently presses and ferments with native yeasts in fiber tanks and demi-muids before aging the wine for seven months. He reveals the purest expression of Chasselas: light and crisp, with lemon and grapefruit, savory orange oil, a touch of white pepper and fleur de sel, and an alpine herbaceousness.
Try it with traditional Swiss dishes like fondue or raclette, chicken kabobs with yogurt sauce, or pan-fried sole fillets. — Cara Patricia