Dupasquier, located between the Rhone River and Lake Bourget - what a world! (Selection Massale Site)

Domaine Dupasquier & the Art of Age-Worthy Altesse: Roussette de Savoie Marestel 2016 (and the final bottles of 2010 MAGS)... plus a great 2017 Jacquère!

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The Summer of 2021 will always be, in my heart, the Summer of Savoie. I can't tell you how much I learned while exploring the many different corners of the this region, along with it's Alpine neighbors, Bugey and Isère. One of the most thrilling discoveries was the aging potential of Altesse. Although I understood that the wine could generously develop for hours in the glass after opening, I didn't realize how well it could develop over years, under cork, in the bottle. The Altesse of Patrick Charlin, from the Montagnieu hillside in Bugey, was my first solid introduction. Having the opportunity to taste three older vintages of Charlin's Roussette du Bugey Montagnieu (2016, '14, '12), thus experiencing the wine's stages of dramatic change, was an eye opening and tongue sparking revelation. I hope that you all were able to take advantage of the combo offer I did on these wines from Charlin a few months back in celebration of Wink Lorch's second printing of Wines of the French Alps. If you didn't catch them, today is a tiny consolation - so don't miss out on the special wines of Domaine Dupasquier!

A dark photo of David Dupasquier (SM Site)

Altesse that ages isn't made by accident. As Patrick Charlin does with his premier Altesse, David Dupasquier holds back his family's Roussette de Savoie Marestel for some time before release. According to Selection Massale, Dupasquier's importer into New York, "the Dupasquier's leave their wines in [old, neutral] barrel on fine lees until just before the next year’s harvest. The wines then see another 18 month in bottle." David is following in his father, Noël's, footsteps. As Wink Lorch writes in her book, Noël "simply wasn't interested in the trend in Savoie to make wines for quick sale and consumption" - an easy style that was very popular decades ago and still damages the reputations of other vignerons, like the Dupasquiers, who are working to produce wines of a serious and structured nature.

Although farming and winemaking are essential to Domaine Dupasquier's Roussette de Savoie Marestel, it is also the special vineyard site that contributes to the wine's vitality. "The steep, pebbly terroir of the vineyard is well suited to Altesse," according to Wine-Searcher.com's page on this cru. The website explains that Marestel "climbs up the western slopes of the Mont du Chat mountain above the village of Jongieux on the western edge of Savoie." This is one of the sunniest locations in all of the Savoie, which, aided by the heat-soaking abilities of it's rocky limestone soils, allows for exceptional ripening of fruit. In the hands of thoughtful winemakers, these are prized grapes and make wines of incredible character.

A view from Marestel (Selection Massale Site)

In the glass, the Roussette de Savoie Marestel 2016 is a bright but full lemon in color. The nose, as a great Altesse should show once it's developed some age, is full of fruits, herbs, and spice: green and dark teas, white and yellow flowers, mellow seagrass, and yellow apple. Hints of smoky flint and dashes of white and black pepper float above. As the glass opens, the nose becomes more savory, with dried apricots and cherries, cured lemon, dried honey and clove. Flavors bounce on the palate, with hints of matcha and apple, freshly cut green herbs and citrus peel. The finish here, which rides a structure of soft swish and medium acidity, begins with sweet dried pineapple and ends with a classic hint of butterscotch.

As a partner to this Altesse is Domaine Dupasquier's 2017 Jacquère, which is actually the only white from this estate that does not see any time in wood. With this wine, fermentation and aging happens in epoxy coated underground vats - though the practice of long lees aging is still used! As you can see, it also has some years on it, though you'd never guess. Truly one-of-a-kind, and a steal at $23.99!

In the glass, this 2017 Jacquère is a stunning clear gold. The nose is smoky, with a little white spice. Aromas of yellow apple, apricot skins, white flowers and dense white minerals lay underneath. On the palate, fresh black pepper, orchard fruit, and oyster shell show firmly at the beginning, while a long, semi-bitter finish extends until your tongue detects something sweet - like a hint of brown sugar. This finale of quick sweetness is something I find in the best of Savoie whites and look forward to it with every sip. High acidity on the sides of the tongue and something light and barely tannic on the gums give this wine a beautiful structure.

Admittedly, it's taken me way too long to dive into Domaine Dupasquier, but now that I'm here, I can't wait to taste more. There is no denying their quality. Now it's your turn! And for a lucky three of you, there are some magnums of 2010 Roussette de Savoie Marestel... I already grabbed my bottle! Good luck! David Hatzopoulos

Dupasquier 2016 Roussette de Savoie Marestel (Altesse)

In the glass, the wine is a bright but full  lemon in color. The nose, as a great Altesse should show once it's developed some age, is full of fruits, herbs, and spice: green and dark teas, white and yellow flowers, mellow seagrass, and yellow apple. Hints of smoky flint and dashes of white and black pepper float above. As the glass opens, the nose becomes more savory, with dried apricots and cherries, cured lemon, dried honey and clove. Flavors bounce on the palate, with hints of matcha and apple, freshly cut green herbs and citrus peel. The finish here, which rides a structure of soft swish and medium acidity, begins with sweet dried pineapple and ends with a classic hint of butterscotch. Complex but lovely, this is a wine that any drinker, Savoie-nut or not, will truly appreciate. Another great example of Altesse with some age. This will continue to develop for a decade, though some would argue much, much longer. David Hatzopoulos

  • white
  • 6 in stock
  • $32.99

Dupasquier 2017 Savoie Jacquère

In the glass, this 2017 Jacquère is a stunning clear gold. The nose is smoky, with a little white spice. Aromas of yellow apple, apricot skins, white flowers and dense white minerals lay underneath. On the palate, fresh black pepper, orchard fruit, and oyster shell show firmly at the beginning, while a long, semi-bitter finish extends until your tongue detects something sweet - like a hint of brown sugar. This finale of quick sweetness is something I find in the best of Savoie whites and look forward to it with every sip. High acidity on the sides of the tongue and something light and barely tannic on the gums give this wine a beautiful structure. You'll definitely want to drink this now, but don't worry if you decide to stash a few. I'd say this wine will continue to develop for at least 5 years, but probably longer... David Hatzopoulos

  • white
  • 5 in stock
  • $23.99

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Dupasquier 2010 Roussette de Savoie Marestel 1.5 L

2010 is in the zone. Expressively aromatic with wildflower, papaya, toasted hazelnuts, and hints of bergamot. The palate is rich and giving with heady flavors of smoked pineapple, herbs, honeycomb, and citrus. Firm minerality carries the fleshy tropical fruit flavors through an extraordinarily long finish. Powerful and finessed, this bottle deserves a place on your dinner table alongside shellfish, grilled fish with creamy  herb sauce, or a traditional raclette. (Tasted from 750ml) Amanda Bowman 

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $79.99