Domaine des Ardoisières not far from the famous Mont Blanc. From 1998 to 2003, the estate helped revitalize the vineyards in Cevins (near center of image).

More Savoie, please! Domaine des Ardoisieres' 2020 Silice Rouge & Silice Blanc - as tasty as they come!

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Mondeuse, Mondeuse, Mondeuse… These days, I’m finding it hard to resist the low-alcohol red wines made from this staple grape of the Savoie. I featured the Bruno Lupin 2019 Mondeuse a few weeks ago, from vines around 70 years old and aged in ex-DRC barrels. It weighs in at 12% ABV. Today, I’m looking at the Silice Rouge 2020, 100% Mondeuse, from Domaine des Ardoisières, which boasts a brilliant (**hold your breath**) 10.5% ABV. This is the first vintage that I’ve ever tasted, and it is purely ravishing.

Domaine des Ardoisières’ 2020 Silice Rouge has a dark red shade, with hints of lighter purple. The nose is woodsy but incredibly clean, filled with aromas of lean wild plums and cherries, with a hint of airy baking spice. On the palate, the wine has a lovely zip, with red currants and beach plums. After the flavors of fresh fruit, a long singular note of tender kirsch adds depth to the wine throughout a fantastic finish. A moderate structure of leveled tannin and good acid complete this knockout wine.

Slopes belonging to Domaine des Ardoisieres

In her book, Wines of the French Alps, our friend Wink Lorch describes Domaine des Ardoisières’ mid-90s beginning as a “phoenix [rising] from the ashes.” The estate, originally led by biodynamic legend Michel Grisard, was part of a large effort to recuperate vineyards in the Tarentaise Valley, and more specifically in the mountainous commune of Cevins. With formidable success, the project restored slopes to functional, workable conditions and replanted more than 400 plots of Coteau de Cevins with Altesse, Roussanne, Jacquère Mondeuse Blanche, Pinot Gris, Persan and Mondeuse Noir, according to Wink. Today, Domaine des Ardoisières is headed by Brice Omont, a Champagne-native who worked with Grisard at the estate from 2003 until he stepped away in 2010.

In 2008, Grisard and Omont also began using vines in the villages of Laissaud and Apremont, both about an hour drive west from Cevins. Laissaud, near Saint Pierre de Soucy, is where the Mondeuse for the Silice Rouge is grown, and Apremont, under the shadow of Mont Granier, is where Domaine des Ardoisières harvests the Jacquère for their Silice Blanc bottling.

The 2020 Silice Blanc from Domaine des Ardoisières is a light, vibrant lemon color in the glass. On the nose, the wine shows lovely citrus and crisp apricot, along with soft grassy aromas and a dash of minerally smoke. The palate has a plumpness of fruit that is incredibly enticing, offering flavors of yellow cherries and plums, followed by a bounce of refreshing lemon zest that persists into the wine’s finish. A touch of tannin and great Alpine acidity give the wine engaging structure.

The estate uses Jacquere from Apremont (bottom left) for the Silice Blanc. Mondeuse for the Silice Rouge is from Laissaud (top right)

The wines of Domaine des Ardoisières are well known in the United States. Prices for many of Brice Omont’s cuvées push past the $100 mark. Look no further than the Silice bottlings, however, if you’re interested in getting to know the producer and experiencing the incredible qualities of complete, terroir-driven wines of the Savoie. Under the organic and biodynamic practices imparted early on by Michel Grisard, this estate continues to work their land well. The Silice wines feel healthy and full, with a great briskness and transparency, allowing the delicious flavors to do the real talking. Only three cases of each are available today… so, who wants them? David Hatzopoulos

**Wines arrive 7/8/20**

Domaine des Ardoisieres 2020 Vin des Allobroges Silice Rouge

100% whole cluster Mondeuse from the village of Laissaud, near St. Pierre de Soucy. Fermented with native yeasts, 1/3 in 2-3 year old barriques, and 2/3 in tank. Wine is aged 8 months before bottling with minimal sulfur. Domaine des Ardoisières’ 2020 Silice Rouge has a dark red shade, with hints of lighter purple. The nose is woodsy but incredibly clean, filled with aromas of lean wild plums and cherries, with a hint of airy baking spice. On the palate, the wine has a lovely zip, with red currants and beach plums. After the flavors of fresh fruit, a long singular note of tender kirsch adds depth to the wine during a fantastic finish. A moderate structure of leveled tannin and good acid complete this knockout wine. David Hatzopoulos

  • red
  • 9 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Domaine des Ardoisieres 2020 Vin des Allobroges Silice Blanc

This is 100% Jacquere from 3 sites in the village of Apremont. Vine age is between 60 and 70 years. Wine is fermented with native yeasts, 1/3 in 2-3 year old barriques, and 2/3 in tank, with zero sulfur during vinification. Aged for 8 months before a light filtration and bottling. No sulfur at bottling. The 2020 Silice Blanc from Domaine des Ardoisières is a light, vibrant lemon color in the glass. On the nose, the wine shows lovely citrus and crisp apricot, along with soft grassy aromas and a dash of minerally smoke. The palate has a plumpness of fruit that is incredibly enticing, offering flavors of yellow cherries and plums, followed by a bounce of refreshing lemon zest that persists into the wine’s finish. A touch of tannin and great Alpine acidity give the wine engaging structure. David Hatzopoulos

  • white
  • 12 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
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Domaine Lupin 2019 Vin de Savoie Mondeuse

There is nothing wrong with the meaty, concentrated Mondeuse that we all know and love... but this old vine Mondeuse from Bruno Lupin is something else. From half a hectare of 60-70 year old Mondeuse vines on the slopes of Frangy in the Savoie. Organically farmed grapes are fermented naturally in the Lupin cellar. Aging is done partially in ex-DRC barrels for 9 months. Light in color, with a ravishing magenta at its core, fading out into a clear, springy violet hue at the edges. The nose is a mix of healthy forest fruits, like red cherry and raspberry. Flowers, both red and white, accent a savory scent of orange peel and a tingle of graphite. After a moment to breathe, spicy plum, warm thyme and black pepper thread themselves with the wine's established, subtle bouquet of flowers, fruit, and earth. The palate has black cherry and pepper, with a smokiness that grows on the finish, transforming into something herbal and minty. High acidity that sticks around long after a sip, and generous tannin that especially targets the gums and the sides of the tongue. This wine will develop with a decant. I would also recommend putting a few in the cellar, as this wine will no doubt take on more complex flavors after 4 or 5 years laying down. What a beautiful, refreshing style of Mondeuse. Bruno, you've delivered another incredible wine, merci. I only wish you could make more of it! David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur