Introducing Thomas Finot: Remarkable Wines from Isère and Crozes-Hermitage!

9/14/17 -


(Image from the book "Frère de Terroirs," which follows chefs Jacques Ferrandez and Yves Camdeborde on their travels through France. Thomas Finot is shown welcoming the chef duo to his garage winery in Bernin)

We're proud to introduce the wines of Thomas Finot, a young winemaker who, after experience in different regions of France, discovered abandonned vineyards in the Coteaux du Gresivaudan" (Isère) northeast of Grenoble, and is working to restore the vineyards and the region's potential. With great passion, he is reviving local varieties such as the white Verdesse and the reds Persan and Etriare de la Dhuy as well as working with the appellation's permitted grapes including Jacquere, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Thomas is committed to organic and biodynamic farming to best express the regions quality. The terroir is an ancient valley with soils of glacial stones and sands with limestone scree and clay and the daytime temperatures are among the highest in France, but with very cool nights. Domaine Finot is also producing a small quantity of superb Crozes-Hermitage from his grandfather's 1.8 hectare of vines on great sites in Larnage on both limestone and granite with white clay (kaolin) soils. We met Thomas last winter and were greatly impressed with the freshness and originality of his wines and with his obvious talent and great enthusiasm for his project. 

This June, after a drive south from the Savoie, we had the chance to visit Thomas and his family in Bernin for a day. The visit went from his garage winery (pictured above in the comic strip), to his parcels which lie between the majestic Chartreuse mountains to the west and the Alps to the east (see photo below). For a relatively young winemaker, his grasp of the land, the soil types, and the health of his vines was impressive. He's a warm, humorous, and focused vigneron with a great future ahead of him! We are very happy to have received our first shipment, and we also want to thank Thomas' brother Matthieu, winemaker at King Family Vineyards in Virginia, for his kind assistance.

Thomas Finot

Instrumental to the creation of Domaine Finot was the work of a vigneron named Daniel Zegna, who has been cultivating the traditional varieties of the Coteaux du Grésivaudan and has passed on some of his knowledge and some of his vines to Thomas. Étraire de la Dhuy (l'Adui) is a red grape, possible an offspring of Persan, discovered in the early 18th century, with only a few hectares remaining in 2008 (Wine Grapes). The 2015 Finot Étraire de la Dhuy is from a parcel of 70 year-old massale selection vines. The estate has planted additional vines with cuttings from this block. The 2015 Finot Persan is from massale selection plantings by Daniel Zegna in Bernin and Saint Ismier. Persan is a "Rare but high-quality Savoie variety" according to Wine Grapes, which appears in Piemonte as Bécuet where it is a blending grape. About 9 hectares are currently in production and Domaine Finot has made new plantings from the Zegna vines. Again according to Wine Grapes, (thank you Jancis, Julia and José) Verdesse originated in the Vallée du Grésivaudan, but production was down to 2 hectares in 2008. The Finot 2015 Verdesse "vendange sur-mûrie" is from 2 parcels, one of young vines planted by Zegna and one of 60 year-old vines.

The estate also makes a vibrant Coteaux du Grésivaudan Pinot Noir and three delicious vin de soif from varieties found in the area: Tracteur Rouge from Gamay and Pinot Noir with a bit of Merlot and Cabernet; Tracteur Rosé from 100% Gamay, and Tracteur Blanc, mostly from Jacquere, Chasselas and Chardonnay. The "Tractor" wines are delicously different and refreshing and will accompany just about anything! Last but not least, Thomas has taken over the family's 1.8 hectares in Crozes-Hermitage in the village of Larnage on both granite and limestone hillsides with soils of white clay (kaolin). It's very good terroir, and the 2014 Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Claude (an hommage to Thomas' uncle) is a Syrah of great elegance and purity which is delicious now, but probably best from 2020 to 2030.

You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered