Please Dupasquier the Magnum!

9/1/17 -


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

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