Domaine St. Romain - Cru Marestel & Jongieux: Alpine Goodness from Savoie
One of the most underestimated and (in our humble opinions) undersold wine regions in France, Savoie sits nestled into the idyllic hillsides of the French Alps near the Swiss border. It’s a cool region even during summer and receives much snow in winter. This combination of climatic features makes for bracingly crisp, honeyed whites and fresh, spicy, chillable reds of astronomical quality.
Domaine Saint Romain, a diminutive family-run winery of less than 5 ha, hails from Jongieux, a small cru in the hilly mid-section of Savoie just east of the Savoie River. Boasting quality wines of red and white grapes, Jongieux rests on the glacially-sculpted terraces between Lac de Bourget (the biggest lac in all of France) and the Rhône River. Within Jongieux lies the top cru of Marestel which features white wines made solely of the Altesse grape (also known as Roussette). Of the four separate crus in Savoie that make wine of the Altesse grape, Marestel is the most respected due to its steep, south-west facing slopes, rapid soil drainage, and prime sunshine exposure. Its elevation protects it from low-lying frost and Mont de la Charvaz, a 1200 m peak nearby, shelters it from otherwise averse weather conditions.
Altesse for Domaine St. Romain’s Cru Marestel is grown in 100% organic conditions on 1.2 hectares of calcareous-clay soils. Vines average 20 years of age. Fermentation happens over a 30-day period with batonage. The wine is aged in vat with no filtration. Total production for this wine is a tiny 7300 bottles – the wine is fresh and honeyed and redolent of hay and dried herbs. It is ideal as an aperitif or with fish or chicken dishes.
Mondeuse for their red cru Jongieux is grown in 100% organic conditions on 3.1 hectares of calcareous-clay soils. Vines average 35 years of age. Wines ferment in temperature controlled vats for 7-10 days with remontage twice a day. Wines age in vat with no filtration. The red is deep in color but still delicate and transparent – with flavors of black pepper, fruits confits, leather and light tannin. An ideal red for Thanksgiving dinner!
ROUSETTE DE SAVOIE "CRU MARESTEL"
Appellation: Roussette de Savoie
MONDEUSE "CRU JONGIEUX"
Appellation: Vin de Savoie