Our winery of the month is located in the Auvergne Rhone Alpes region of France, home of a few ski areas you might have heard of. While this alpine area of eastern France may be better known for skiing than it is known for viticulture, Savoy also produces some delightful wines. The region’s best comes from a boomerang-shaped string of hillside villages between Grenoble and Albertville (site of the 1992 Winter Olympics) called the Combe de Savoie (Combe is a word of Celtic origin meaning a sharp, deep valley).
The sustainably farmed vineyards consist of sixty-nine acres planted in the Combe de Savoie including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rousette, Jacquere, and Gamay.
The nose is delicate and fine with intense or mingled notes of boxwood and white flowers or dominant notes of minerals and lemons. The mouth is light and straight which leaves a pleasant impression. Pairs well with shellfish, fish, and cheese like fondue.
One of the oldest and distinctive red grape varieties of Savoie, Mondeuse is showing great potential as global demand for this rare wine grows. Some of the best Mondeuse comes from the Bugey region or is sold as a varietal Vin de Savoie, often from a particular cru. Somm Secret—DNA profiling has confirmed that Mondeuse and Syrah are related. The two have a lot of common characteristics, namely a dense color with black fruit on the palate and herbal or spicy aromas.
Sustainably farmed, the Rose is a blend of 40% Mondeuse and 60% Gamay.
Though the Vulliens have been making wine for 40 years, the family is perhaps best known as a leader in another segment of the wine industry. Since 1890, Vullien Pépinière Viticole (vine nursery) has been supplying young vines to growers throughout France. In fact, they were the source for about 25% of the Chardonnay planted in Chablis after the ravages of phylloxera.
We highly recommend you sample these delightful wines from Jean Vullien’s winery.