Last year I wrote a post discussing Mountain Wines - it's really hard to fix on a definition, but the Jura region itself is keen to distance itself from the mountain category, and although I can see both sides of the arguments with Jura, the more I taste their wines, the less mountain-style they seem to be. Sure there is a streak of acidity running through, but the strength of the terroir comes through so strongly even in the resolutely non-oxidative whites, much more than the mountain character.
Tim York wrote:There are now two Labet estates; that of father Alain and that of son Julien. Both have good reputations.
Yes, Tim you were right up until 31.12.12. but now Alain has officially retired and Julien, with his sister Charlène and brother Romain are running the domaine, and Julien's 3 hectares are being incorporated. They plan in future to have 2 ranges - a more natural (no/low SO2) one, which is the equivalent of what Julien was doing on his own and then the more traditional domaine wines. They go from strength to strength - as per profile here.
Oh, and Tim, re. Adrien Vacher, in my view this large négociant is not a good representative for Savoie on the whole, but I guess the wines are available where you are...
To add something new here: one of several fabulous mountain grape varieties being rediscovered in Savoie is Persan (listed below) and although there are only about 10ha grown so far, there are at least two producers with wines in the USA (well NYC at least) - Domaine St-Germain (AOC Savoie) and Nicolas Gonin (IGP Isère). These red wines are deep and broody, with the structure to age too. It's got great potential, perhaps the equal of Mondeuse one day. And yes, I have just written about it on the blog too, but shouldn't really add another personal link, should I?
On the subject of Mondeuse, these go from strength to strength in Savoie too, and the Swiss have started re-planting this grape too - had the chance to taste a range a few weeks ago. You won't find Swiss Mondeuse in the US I shouldn't think, but there are several good Savoie ones available now including Louis Magnin, Domaine Prieuré St-Christophe (fine, but expensive) and Domaine St-Germain.
Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Question, I am wondering if Valtellina (Lombardy) could qualify as a mountain wine?
I visited Valtellina 2 years ago for the first time in 20 years, and was totally amazed by the dramatic steepness of the gorgeous vineyards and at more significant altitude than the French ones discussed here. I did not, in the end, write anything about it, but there are some cracking producers of mountain Nebbiolo (named Chiavennasca) there - look out for Ar.Pe.Pe., and Nino Negri who both should be in the USA.
And yes, Aosta - with in its northern reaches the highest Alpine vineyards, makes some fascinating wines.