Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Fine Start to a Wild & Wacky Wine Week

I've been mentioning recently that I'm into my last 100 wines before I open that celebratory 2001st bottle. Having just knocked off a bottle of Mencia the other night, I figure why not try and hit my 200th grape variety for the Wine Century Club before #2001 as well. Accordingly, a "Wild & Wacky Wine Week" seems to be in order. I've been grabbing a few bottles that feature uncommon grape varieties; so, move over Merlot and shuffle off Chardonnay, it's time to try something a little less recognizable.

1910.  2013 Domaine La Rosière - Jongieux (Vin de Savoie AOC - France)

Can't say that I knew anything about this region, the winery, Domaine la Rosière, or the grape used to make this white from the lower parts of the French Alps. Savoie - or Savoy - is found east of Beaujolais and on the border with Switzerland and, as such, most of the vineyards are planted on "very steep, southwest facing slopes created by ancient glaciers."

Jongieux is one of the villages found in the heart of the region and its name is given to one of the winemaking communes. The Jongieux white is made entirely from the Jacquère grape and this rare-ish baby definitely hits my Wine Century Club  tally as one that I haven't tried before. Jacquère is the most important white grape grown in the Savoie but, according to Jancis Robinson's Wine Grapes, there is not much grown elsewhere in the world - perhaps a bit in the northern Rhône and some in pockets of Portugal.

I was pleasantly surprised by the wine. It had a nice full body that was matched by good acidity and bright citrus notes. I can't say that this is indicative of all Jacquère wines, but I see that the winery's vineyards are graced with warm microclimate for the region and the wine is aged on its lees (or spent yeast cells), the former helping to ripen the fruit and the latter fleshing out the body of the wine.

In any event, I was fairly taken by the wine. I'd have been happy enough to simply add Jacquère as #179 to my tally, but it's always nice to get that added bonus of liking the wine to boot. This is an encouraging start for the other "wild & wacky" wines to come this week.

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