Gringet vines in the Les Alpes vineyard. Photo: Guilhaume Gerard

Dominique Belluard - Savior of Gringet

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The wine district of Ayze is in the Savoie region of eastern France, not far from the Swiss border. Here the world’s remaining 20 hectares of an indigenous grape variety known as Gringet are farmed, and half are owned by Dominique Belluard. Dominique took over this estate in 1988 and became known for elevating Gringet from notoriously average sparkling wines to world-class, age-worthy wines that truly have a sense of place.

Situated at the foot of Mont Blanc, Dominique’s vines are planted in a mixture of marl, limestone, and iron-rich soils at a relatively lofty 400m in altitude. He has small parcels of Mondeuse and Altesse planted here as well, but the star is Gringet. Painstaking work in the vines allows Dominique to take a hands-off approach in the cellar, with all of his wines fermented with native yeasts and employing only the smallest additions of sulfur during racking. Of note is his commitment to using concrete eggs (which he began to experiment with in 2003) as opposed to stainless steel. The end results of this process are wines that are fresh, lively, balanced, and incredibly food friendly.

2013 was a difficult vintage with yields down all across France, and almost half of Dominique’s crop was lost. However, the wines from this troublesome year are proving to be of outstanding quality, and these wines are no exception. So dive in and taste some of the most exquisite and exciting Gringet around! Tim Gagnon

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Belluard 2011 Vin de Savoie Ayse Brut Mont Blanc

From Dominique’s highest-altitude vines planted in limestone and iron-rich soils. With a minimum of two years of aging on the lees, this is a rich, fruit-forward, and complex wine with notes of exotic mango, tangerine seeds, and green tea. It has a vinous quality to it as well which is quite enjoyable. Opulent on the palate, with a hint of biscuit dough and a striking acidity. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
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  • no discount
  • $29.99

Belluard 2013 Vin de Savoie Cepage Altesse "Grandes Jorass

100% Altesse from vines planted in yellow marl soils. These vines were acquired from the Dupasquier family who live close to Dominique. Altesse can yield rich, honeyed wines, but the 2013 is much more lean, layered, and delicate. A fantastic example of this grape. Tim Gagnon

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  • white
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  • $42.99

Belluard 2013 Vin de Savoie Cepage Gringet "Les Alpes"

This is a blend of different parcels of Gringet vines around Ayze planted in limestone soils making it much more crisp and mineral-driven than its big brother, Le Feu. Honey-tinged with purple wildflowers, and orange blossom on the nose which alludes to the tangy pineapple, orange flesh, and apricot found on the palate.  Mouth-coating and waxy with a sea-salty acidity. Tim Gagnon

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $37.99

Belluard 2013 Vin de Savoie Le Feu "Cepage Gringet"

Le Feu is Dominique’s top wine. The Gringet grapes are sourced from his oldest vines planted in red, iron-rich soils located on steep south-facing slopes. This definitely lends a hand to this wine being more rich and deep than Les Alpes. Layers of red fruit and exotic spice play off of savory tamarind notes and a crunchy minerality. This is among one of his most age-worthy wines. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $53.99