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*Offsite events are contracted to and coordinated by a 3rd party, and are in no way affiliated with Chambers Street Wines.
Historically the Savoie is a region where wine production is small and the tourists are thirsty. Limited quantities, immediate local consumption, and conventional farming have made it challenging to put the handful of producers we enjoy into a wider context. When the wines are good, they're very good, so it's easy to understand why the Savoie is gaining a cult following. When a good bottle of Mondeuse from Gonin or an Altesse from Peillot comes our way, there is a sense of excitement here at Chambers Street Wines. For these reasons, we look forward to the arrivals from Domaine Dupasquier each year. Their meticulous farming, and use of long aging before their wines hit the market, offer the elusive chance to taste traditional wines from the Savoie.
The Dupasquier vineyards are located in Jongieux, a village a few kilometers west of Lake Bourget, in the southwestern part of the Savoie AOC. After taking over the winery from their father, Noel, David and his sister Veronique became the fifth generation of winemakers at the Domaine. David farms the vineyards with painstaking detail. Clusters are hand selected and plowing is done once a year for every other row to promote biodiversity in the soils (per the estate's website). The family is most noted for bucking the local tradition of quick vinification in stainless steel in favor of the traditional process of extended elevage in neutral foudre (large wood barrels). All of their wines are fermented with native yeasts, and then rest on the fine lees for a year before an additional 18 months in bottle before release.
Although the reds from the domaine are beautifully complex and balanced, the whites really get my heart racing. It is made from 100% Altesse (locally called Roussette) that comes from the prestigious Marestel Cru situated high above Jongieux on the western side of Mont du Chat; Marestel is one of four appellations within the winding Roussette de Savoie AOC. The steep, southwestern facing slope provides abundant sun exposure for the vines, which aids the ripening in the cool mountain clime. The extreme elevation also provides good drainage of the soil so the vines are only able to produce small yields of concentrated fruit, which the Dupasquiers harvest meticulously by hand. Dupasquier's Marestel bottling is incredibly powerful, fresh, and age-worthy. The 2010 has hit its stride with rich notes of raw honey, smoky tropical fruit, and lean minerality. A fascinating wine that continues to develop for a couple days after opening, showing deeper notes of honeycomb and dried mango. And, now it comes in magnum! Amanda Bowman
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
This a traditionally made Pinot Noir that benefits from sunny days, cool evenings, and long aging. Like all of Dupasquier's wines, this Pinot Noir is fermented with native yeasts and is aged in foudres for one year before being bottled and aged for another year in their cellar before release. The result is a wonderfully approachable Pinot with lovely aromas of bright raspberry, violets, and fresh red fruit. The palate is lean and energetic with grippy acidity. The long elevage lends a gentle, less austere, quality to the tannin. Satisfying notes of crunchy blueberry, black pepper, bramble fruit, and stone on a long finish. A ready-to-drink Pinot Noir at an excellent value. Amanda Bowman
The 2010 is in the zone. Expressively aromatic with notes of 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. Amanda Bowman
The 2012 is a captivating wine with true aging potential. Golden straw in the glass with inviting aromas of purple flowers, dried mango, peach skins, citrus peel, and hazelnut. The palate is exquisitely textured with minerals, nervy acidity, and creamy peach, honey, and yellow fruit flavors with hints of cinnamon spice, mountain herbs, and almonds. Very beguiling and complex. If drinking now, decant an hour before serving. This would be delicious paired with creamy cheeses, grilled chicken, or Thai mussels this summer. It will be even better in 3 to 5 years! Amanda Bowman
All of the warmth, spice, and grip I love about the Rhone with the mellow spirit of the Beaujolais. What's not to love? The nose offers earthy spice, white pepper, plum, high-toned raspberry and crushed violets. The palate is an exercise in balance. Delightfully lean and light-bodied with energetic acidty from the cool nights to lift the warm flavors of herbs, annis, smoke, and tobacco spice with echoes of red/dark fruit. Drinking now and will continue to do so for the next couple of years. Amanda Bowman