Get 10% off the purchase price with every order of 12 bottles or more of still wine not already on sale. The savings add up!
Candela Prol, highly experienced certified wine educator and friend of the shop, is available for tastings and training for private and corporate events. For rates and other inquiries, please contact her at email@example.com .
*Offsite events are contracted to and coordinated by a 3rd party, and are in no way affiliated with Chambers Street Wines.
According to Pl@ntGrape (a source shared by ampelographer and winemaker Nicolas Gonin), there were only 22 hectares of Gringet in France in 2018. In comparison, there were 408 of Altesse and 920 of Jacquère. "The cultivated area is decreasing," Gonin wrote, "and [Gringet] certainly needs your support."
Of those 22 hectares, all concentrated in the small Alpine appellation of Ayze, roughly 10 are owned by the famous Domaine Bellaurd. Led by Dominqiue Belluard until he sadly left us last year, this estate brought Gringet into the limelight with a line of limited-production cuvées. Today, these wines have become some of the most sought after low-intervention wines of France. In her book, Wines of the French Alps, Wink Lorch praises Dominique and his father, Albert, for "changing the reputation of the Gringet grape and the Ayze cru from... a simple local oddity... to commanding respect around the world." (Click here to read Wink's piece on Wine-Searcher.com commemorating the life and career of Dominique)
Another 10 hectares of Gringet are owned by two brothers, Nicolas and Fabrice Montessuit - the focus of today's email. When Wink published her book in 2019, she wrote that Domaine Famille Montessuit "will need to remain clear in their vision in such a tiny area, where the only other producer of any size is one of the most famous in Savoie." Currently, the Gringet expressions from these two Ayze producers are all that can be found in the United States.
Nicolas and Fabrice are carrying on the agricultural traditions of the Montessuit family after leaving careers outside of wine. They began with less than a hectare that was passed on by their grandfather. According to Wink, it was in 2011 when the brothers committed fully to winemaking, acquiring more vines in the area and building a new cellar. The domaine acheived organic certification in 2021. They use sheep in some vineyards for weeding. "To combat fungal diseases, as well as Bordeaux mixture, they use oregano and other plant concoctions, along with essential oils," explains Wink.
On the website of La Fruitiere, a regionally specific store in the Alpine city of Domancy, Domaine Famille Montessuit describe their plots as "located between 450 and 550 m above sea level." And the vine age is rather significant, with some aged 115 years. Manual production is important also too, as their slopes tend to range between 40 and 50%. We're offering the domaine's Cuvée Jonquille 2019 Vielles Vignes, produced from 50 year old Gringet vines. This is one of the three non-sparkling expressions that the brothers release.
In the glass, the wine is a glimmering, clear lemon in color. The nose develops from snappy yellow citrus and salty minerals on day one to a softer, richer aromatic character on day two, when white flowers, plush Alpine herbs, ripe yellow cherries and lovely wintery smoke appear. On the palate, it takes a similar course, with clean and edgy limestone and lemon zest becoming flavors apple and firm pear, savory salinity and white pepper. The gorgeous finish is a simple kiss of lemon candy, which slowly appears after the high acidity and tender mouthfeel wash from the tongue. Fantastic!
Gringet is a grape that Domaine Belluard introduced us to. We all believe in it. We've tasted its great potential. Nicolas and Fabrice Montessuit are in the unique position to help determine its fate, and we are in the unique position to support them. David Hatzopoulos
**Today we are also featuring the 2020 Mondeuse from one of our favorite's Romain Chamiot. His wines are so expressive and priced well below the level they drink at. Enjoy!**
The Montissuit Jonquille Vielles Vignes in one of the only expressions of Gringet commercially available outside of France. It is truly something special. From 50(+) year old vines. In the glass, the wine is a glimmering, clear lemon in color. The nose develops from snappy yellow citrus and salty minerals on day one to a softer, richer aromatic character on day two, when white flowers, plush Alpine herbs, ripe yellow cherries and lovely wintery smoke appear. On the palate, it takes a similar course, with clean and edgy limestone and lemon zest becoming flavors apple and firm pear, savory salinity and white pepper. The gorgeous finish is a simple kiss of lemon candy, which slowly appears after the high acidity and tender mouthfeel wash from the tongue. An important wine that represents the delicious future of this hyper-local Savoie grape! David Hatzopoulos
This Mondeuse from Romain Chamiot has the stuffing to develop very well over four days of drinking. Beginning with bright red fruits on the nose, like cranberries and small, crisp strawberries, it softens to become a more generous display of cherries and plump raspberries, with accents of flowers and savory herbs. The intense acidity on the palate on the first night become less severe, but don't disappear all together - thankfully. Brisk and pleasant, refreshing and cool, the flavors take on some pepper with air, and the tannic foundation of the wine is able to shine through the vibrant Alpine fruit. One of the more serious Mondeuse I've had in terms of structure, regardless of price-point. It'll age over the next 3-5 years. Another great one, Romain! David Hatzopoulos