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Wine of the Week: Vin de Savoie-Chignin Bergeron, Domaine Jean-Pierre et Jean-François Quenard, “Vielles Vignes”

Fri Feb 15, 2008

You hate me, I know. You’ve just figured out that Red Burgundy means Pinot Noir and white means Chardonnay and here I am throwing a French wine at you with a name longer than a Spanish surname. If you’re like me, you find wine names like the one above intimidating and, frankly, annoying. What’s in the bottle and is it any good? That’s what I want to know.

The short answer is: old-vine Roussanne and yes, this wine is fantastic. The fruit comes from a 1.5-acre plot planted with Roussanne vines averaging 40 years old. The vineyard is in the Savoie, a small eastern French winegrowing region near the Swiss border. Vin de Savoie is the wine’s appellation, like Napa Valley or Bordeaux. Chignin Bergeron is its sub-appellation, a more specific way to explain where the wine came from within the larger Vin de Savoie.

The wine itself is like a cross between aged German Riesling and a lean Châteuneuf-du-Pape Blanc. The nose shows hints at petrol, fresh-tilled earth and white truffles balanced by sweet apricot and nectarine fruit. On the attack the wine bursts with orange zest and honey with stone fruit and vibrant acidity mid-palate. Hints of vanilla and cookie spices kick up the finish. It has got enough viscosity and structure to stand up to the region’s cheeses or famed fondue dishes, but would be a lovely complement to lighter fare, too, like grilled arctic char, salmon or roasted chicken.

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5 Responses to “Wine of the Week: Vin de Savoie-Chignin Bergeron, Domaine Jean-Pierre et Jean-François Quenard, “Vielles Vignes””

  1. Neal Says:

    Hmm… Sounds good, but how can I buy it if I can’t pronounce it!? 😉

  2. Joyce Says:

    I have been searching for this wine. I hope this information affords me enough knowledge to seek it out in the local stores in NY State. I just came back from a liquor store asking for vin de Savoie. They had no clue. I recently was given a recipe for racklette. It is a kind of French cheese, served warm and melted with potatoes and gerkins. Vin de Savoie is the perfect (and traditional, I think) accompaniment. I made the dish tonight. ( alas, without a racklette skillet). I can’t wait to try the wine!

  3. Leah Greenstein Says:

    Hi Joyce,

    I’m so glad you found my post helpful! If you can’t find someone in NY that sells it (though you should be able to), the wine retailer I work for, K&L (klwines.com), ships to NY.

    Enjoy your raclette!


  4. Jill Patrick Says:

    I was delighted to see that someone else had enjoyed this as much as I did; I plan to trot back to my local store and see how much more they have in stock.

    It’s a wonderful wine. I enjoyed mine with Cod in Green Sauce and a simple salad with a red wine vinaigrette and it was one of those ideal combinations.

  5. Stage 9: “Twisting and Turning Like a Giant Anaconda…We Are Very Definitely in France…” « Lanterne Rosé Says:

    […] white wine we had tonight, a 2008 Savoie Chignin from the Quenard brothers, memorably blogged by Spicy Salty Sweet with phrases such as “On the attack the wine bursts with orange zest and honey with stone […]

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