L’Alpage Fendant pleases all the senses
I suppose that being in a ski resort, we get more call for Fendant than most. It pairs so well with skiing and being outdoors all day and settling into a big pot of fondue with friends afterward, but the mountain lifestyle is a thing unto itself, which may go some way in describing the scarcity of the wine in the American market. Gilliard is generally available and it is a fine representation of the wine.
There are more out there, of course, and like everything else, they are of varying price and quality, so I was delighted to find this superb example.
L’Alpage is a custom cuvée selected by Eric Solomon to capture the pure minerality and refreshing qualities of Chasselas grown in specific terroirs along the upper Rhône river banks. Initially, Soloman launched this cuvée from vineyards in the Valais under the local name Fendant, but with the 2020 vintage, we discovered a plot of Chasselas in the village of Mont-sur-Rolle in La Côte – a singular place with a quintessentially Swiss vista taking in Lac Léman and the Alps.
This style of Chasselas is a friendly, thirst-quenching wine perfect for after a day of hiking or snowshoeing and always welcome with cave-aged Gruyère, raclette, or fondue.
With spring, we’re thinking about other ways of enjoying the mountains, and this wine still makes a nice pairing with cheese and a terrific light, lively, and aromatic change from Sauvignon Blanc.