Wink Lorch with healthy bunches of Persan grapes in the Savoie. Photo: Mick Rock.

Wine Writer Wink Lorch Joins Us for an Evening of Book Signing and Wines of the Savoie

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Wink is here! Well, almost. Our good friend and fellow Jura/Savoie enthusiast, Wink Lorch, is making a rare appearance in New York City, and we are delighted to host her in the store on Friday, April 7th, from 5-7pm.

Wink Lorch’s wine writing career spans more than 25 years, with half of them devoted to covering the Jura and the surrounding winemaking regions. She will be here promoting her upcoming book, Wines of the French Alps – Savoie, Bugey & Beyond, building on her well-deserved reputation as the world’s foremost expert on the wines of eastern France. In addition to pouring a selection of some of our favorite wines from the Savoie, Wink will be signing copies of her previous book, Jura Wine, the definitive guide to all things Jura, in support of her new endeavor (by the way, if you haven’t read this book, it should go without saying that you are seriously missing out!).

The Savoie is an incredibly captivating region, both in terms of its inherent natural beauty, but also in terms of the range of wines produced. From the intensely alpine wines grown in the foothills of towering Mont Blanc, to the sunny, almost Rhône-esque wines made by producers further south, and even the dangerously drinkable, sparkling wines of Bugey further west, there is always something new to try. On top of the producers that we already know and love, there seem to be new producers cropping up all over the region, meaning that we are in for many new treats in the coming years. Though, who exactly these producers are would undoubtedly be a question for Wink…

Below are copies of her first book for sale, as well as the wines from the Savoie that we currently have in the store. We look forward to seeing you on April 7th! Tim Gagnon

Jura Wine w/ Local Travel Tips By Wink Lorch

The definitive guide to all things Jura!

  • 8 in stock
  • $40.00

Ardoisieres 2015 IGP St Pierre de Soucy Argile Blanc

Located on the steep, rocky slopes in the shadow of Mont Blanc, high above the village of Freterive, lies Domaine des Ardoisières 17-hectare estate. With a winemaking history dating back to the Romans, the estate had fallen into disrepair becoming overgrown with forests and remained that way until the late-1990s when the vineyard sites were cleared and ancient terraces rebuilt. The estate is now being overseen by Brice Omont - a Champagne native who took over the estate in 2005 - with biodynamic principles having been employed from the start and native yeasts carrying out all fermentations resulting in truly stunning wines. This cuvee is a blend of Chardonnay, Jacquère, and Mondeuse Blanche which sees elévage in 2/3 stainless steel tank and 1/3 neutral barrique which gives it nuance and balance while maintaining a lifted freshness. Tropical and salty with pear skin and almond notes and giving way to stern minerals and more orchard fruit on the palate, it is an exciting wine for lovers of Savoie whites. Tim Gagnon 

  • white
  • 6 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Belluard NV Ayse Vin de Savoie Les Perles du Mont Blanc

Les Perles du Mont Blanc is made from the Belluard's biodynamically planted Gringet in the alpine village of Ayse. Fermentation for the base wine is done with indigenous yeast; the second with Champagne yeast and there is no dosage added, making for an exquisitely dry wine with fascinating complexity. The autumnal aromas of  pine forest, baking spice, and toasted hazelnuts give a festive quality to this wine. On the palate it is rich, with creamy flavors of bosc pear, wildflower honey, nutmeg and green apple. The invigorating acidity makes this a very versatile, food-friendly wine to pair with roasted fennel, sausage, or cheese. Amanda Bowman

  • white sparkling
  • 8 in stock
  • no discount
  • $24.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Belluard 2013 Vin de Savoie Mont Blanc Brut

Made from Gringet grown at 450m in elevation, this is serious stuff. It spends three years on the lees which results in a rich and textured wine, with delicate aromatics. It is quite powerful, and would give any Champagne a run for the money in terms of complexity. Tim Gagnon

  • white sparkling
  • 9 in stock
  • no discount
  • $42.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Belluard 2015 Vin de Savoie Le Feu

Called Le Feu (The Fire) for the bright red, iron-rich clay that litters the incredibly steep vineyards, this is Dominique’s top wine. It is his only single-parcel Gringet cuvée and the vines are situated at 450m in altitude. Tim Gagnon

  • white
  • 3 in stock
  • no discount
  • $36.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Maillet, Jacques 2015 Savoie Mondeuse Terroir des Pauvres

It's almost as if it were meant to be that Maillet left us with this Mondeuse as his last! Typically the most structured and dark of Maillet's red offerings, 2015 provided ideal conditions to fully express the depth and potential of these selection massale vines (many of which are over 100 years old!). In the glass, it looks more like Syrah than anything we typically see from the Savoie. Vibrant wild blackberry aromas on the nose, with black cherry and cola notes on the palate, and a finish with notable tannic structure and mineral length. We'd recommend decanting a bit in advance or holding this wine for up to 10 years.  Eben Lillie

  • red
  • 7 in stock
  • $33.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Maillet, Jacques 2015 Savoie Mondeuse des Pauvres 1.5 L

It's almost as if it were meant to be that Maillet left us with this Mondeuse as his last! Typically the most structured and dark of Maillet's red offerings, 2015 provided ideal conditions to fully express the depth and potential of these selection massale vines (many of which are over 100 years old!). In the glass, it looks more like Syrah than anything we typically see from the Savoie. Vibrant wild blackberry aromas on the nose, with black cherry and cola notes on the palate, and a finish with notable tannic structure and mineral length. We'd recommend decanting a bit in advance or holding this wine for up to 10 years.  Eben Lillie

  • red
  • 5 in stock
  • $74.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Renardat-Fache 2016 Bugey Cerdon Méthode Ancestrale Rosé

A delicious blend of Gamay and Poulsard from the tiny appellation of Bugey. At 8.5% this delicately sweet pét-nat is the breakfast of champions or an invigorating aperitif. The nose is absolutely beautiful with vivid aromas of wild flowers, ripe raspberries, and hints of grapefruit zest. The palate offers sweet raspberry and crunchy blueberry fruit on the attack then finishes with thirst-quenching minerality. A purely enjoyable bottle at a great value. Serve chilled alongside fruit tarts,  dark chocolate, or with tangy cheeses. Amanda Bowman

  • rosé sparkling sweet
  • 20 in stock
  • no discount
  • $20.99

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Ardoisieres 2015 IGP St Pierre de Soucy Argile Rouge

Every year I taste Brice Omont’s wines I find that I like them even more than the last. This year is no exception! His 2015 Argile Rouge is made of 80% Gamay and 20% Persan (grown biodynamically) and is fermented with native yeasts. The wine then spends nine months in three- to five-year-old barrels before bottling. It is a touch smoky on the nose with red raspberry compote, pomegranate seeds, and a hint of rhubarb. On the palate it is lean and mineral driven with a lip-smacking acidity. This wine is incredibly pure and would pair well with all kinds of fatty foods. I’m thinking grilled pork belly at a barbecue! Tim Gagnon 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Belluard 2015 Vin de Savoie Les Alpes

This cuvée is made with Gringet sourced from two parcels, one being rich in yellow marl and the other with more broken-down limestone. It spends about six months aging in concrete eggs (separated by each different terroir) before being blended together in stainless steel tanks. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $41.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Belluard 2015 Vin de Savoie Grandes Jorasses

Dominique’s Altesse shows a much more delicate side of this grape than most are familiar with, and I think this is a testament to his careful winemaking process. The vines in this parcel are quite young, and the original vines were sourced from the Dupasquier family in Jongieux, further south in the Savoie. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $43.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Dominique Lucas (Vignes de Paradis) 2014 Terroir du Leman Un Matin Face

Made from Chasselas planted in clay-rich soils and raised in concrete egg, I find this wine to offer more in terms of layers of texture and in density than his other cuvées. It still maintains a ravishing acidity and ample minerality like all of his wines, but seems a bit more open aromatically with hints of crème brülée, almond milk, and zesty lemon meringue. These luscious aromas coalesce once on the palate with more succulent citrus and sea minerals coming forward. This would be fantastic with hearty poultry dishes (Thanksgiving anyone?) that balance savory and sweet, or with seared monkfish with parsnip purée and hazelnuts for the adventurous home cook. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $37.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Dominique Lucas (Vignes de Paradis) 2014 Pays d'Allobrogie Chardonnay

A thoroughly elegant wine that truly shows its Savoie roots! This wine is fermented and aged half in concrete egg à la Belluard, his very good friend, and half in used barrel. The result is a much more chiseled and ethereal interpretation of Chardonnay that you don’t get in either the Jura or Burgundy. Think soft aromas of orchard fruit, lemon curd, and mountain wildflower on the nose, yet the palate is much more invigorating and opens up with a bit of lush fruit anchored by laser sharp acidity, a slightly waxy, mouth-coating texture, and tangy minerals. Try this with sushi made from fattier fish. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $36.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Dupasquier 2013 Savoie Mondeuse

In my opinion, David Dupasquier’s Mondeuse is his piece de resistance. The sunny clime and wide diurnal range naturally results in healthy vines and perfectly ripe grapes which the Dupasquier family masterfully makes into seriously delicious wines. This wine is deep with a dark purple robe and exhibits spicy blackberry fruit, black peppercorn, dried violet petals, and a touch of meaty funk reminiscent of northern Rhône Valley Syrah. The year spent in large neutral oak helps to soften the tannins and the year spent in bottle before release allows the fruit to integrate well with the spicy and savory flavors present on the palate. Pair this with grilled lamb or cheeseburgers! Tim Gagnon  

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

Dupasquier 2013 Savoie Pinot Noir

This a traditionally made Pinot Noir that benefits from sunny days, cool evenings, and long aging. Like all of Dupasquier's wines, this Pinot Noir is fermented with native yeasts and is aged in foudres for one year before being bottled and aged for another year in their cellar before release. The result is a wonderfully approachable Pinot with lovely aromas of bright raspberry, violets, and fresh red fruit. The palate is lean and energetic with grippy acidity. The long elevage lends a gentle, less austere, quality to the tannin. Satisfying notes of crunchy blueberry, black pepper, bramble fruit, and stone on a long finish. A ready-to-drink Pinot Noir at an excellent value. Amanda Bowman

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

Gonin 2014 Isère - Balmes Dauphinoises Persan

Although the exact origins of this grape variety are unknown, the earliest mention of Persan was in 1846 in the department of Isère. This is exactly what has brought Nicolas Gonin to work with this variety. Nicolas farms 5.5 hectares in the village of Saint-Chef and spends his time between his own domaine and working in a nursery tracing the lineage of ancient grapes and trying to bring back the lost varieties of his region. Gonin’s Persan is harvested by hand and destemmed before it is fermented with native yeasts in enamel vats. The nose is rife with dark, smoky berries, graphite, pomegranate seeds, and blueberries. There are also even deeper hints of tar, pine resin, tobacco, violet petals, and pepper – almost brooding. The palate takes a different tone with bright, tart fruit and damp earth; pepper and herbs come forward and are backed by bold tannins and high-toned black berries on the finish. Serve slightly chilled alongside grilled lamb, cheeseburgers, or roasted duck breast. Tim Gagnon 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Gonin 2015 Isère - Balmes Dauphinoises Blanc Classique

The blend for Nicolas’ Blanc Classique cuvée changes every year and this vintage is a lip-smacking and delicious combination of Viognier, Altesse, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris planted in mainly gravel soils. Waxy lemon peel, green herbs, clementine, and anise abound on the nose, while the palate skews bright and mineral laden. Perhaps a bit more ripe than 2014, but perfectly balanced, it is much more mineral and high-acid than fruit-forward; green apple and fresh-squeezed orange pulp come through on the finish. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Maillet, Jacques 2014 Rousette de Savoie Altesse "Autrement"

We recently opened the 2014 and were pleased to find it's tasting better than ever! Classic white fruit, honeysuckle, and floral notes on the nose, and really nice balance between the acidity and the sun-kissed fruit that is now mellowing out and giving way to a drier and more mineral side of the wine. Maybe a touch softer than the 2015, so perhaps not as worthy of cellaring, but drinking now would be a treat, and I'm sure a few more years will do it well.   Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Maillet, Jacques 2015 Rousette de Savoie Altesse "Autrement"

This Roussette de Savoie is from a tiny parcel of old Altesse vines. The nose is expressive, with  flowers and white fruits aplenty. On the palate there's ripe orchard fruit, and a pleasant roundness that balances out the fresh acidity. This is a wine that has great versatility. It's great for drinking now with a wide variety of foods, from spicy asian cuisines to local cheeses, and will reward your patience if you decide to put some bottles away. With the minerality, acidity and the ripeness of the fruit in 2015, this surely has a great life ahead of it.   Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Maillet, Jacques 2015 Vin de Savoie Chautagne P'tit Canon

A blend of Jacquere and Altesse. I think of this wine as the Muscadet of the Savoie. It's crisp and clean, with acidity that would definitely please fans of Loire Valley whites. Graceful and subtle citrus and white flower aromas, with stone fruit on the palate and a very mineral finish. It might be most suitable in the warmer months of the year, but fans of high-acid whites will surely beg to differ. Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Maillet, Jacques 2015 Vin de Savoie Chautagne Jacquere

Crispy, clean, fresh... a few adjectives that jump to mind when I think about this electric little Jacquere from Jacques Maillet. It's a joyful white wine, with subtle herbal undertones, and a touch of salinity that pair perfectly and keep us coming back for another glass. It's not a "simple" wine, but it is definitely simple to drink.   Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Maillet, Jacques 2015 Savoie Autrement Rouge

This is Maillet's blend of Pinot Noir, Gamay and Mondeuse (turns out, before the AOC was created for Savoie, reds in the region were often blended like this). The vines are around 50 years old on average, and yields are anywhere from 15 to 35 hl/ha (hecto-liters per hectare). Deep and dark on the nose with sultry blackberry and black licorice notes alongside more delicate aromas of strawberry seeds, pomegranate, and savory herbs. The palate is quite fresh and is a bit more straightforward than in years past, with dark berries, smoked meats, white pepper, and a juicy acidity. The finish leans towards the earthy, savory side, making me think that this would be perfect with gamier foods such as venison or lamb. Serve cool and decant. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $20.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $47.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Maillet, Jacques 2015 Savoie Pinot Noir Chataugne

Jacques Maillet is a "grower" in every sense of the word. In 2003, after suffering from a serious illness connected with conventional farming, he reduced the size of his already tiny domaine in order to stop selling his grapes to the local co-op and to begin farming organically. Years later, his wines seem to get better with every vintage. His 2015 Pinot Noir is simply gorgeous. The nose opens with bright, sappy cherry, strawberry liqueur, rose petal, tangerine, and a hint of underbrush. Lithe and lively on the palate, it offers sweet, juicy red raspberry, citrus, smoke, anchored by an intense mineral core. This is no doubt one of Jacques’ most serious wines; structured, long, a bit crunchy, and very elegant. I have a feeling that this would age well over the next 3-5 years, and it is certainly showing beautifully now. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $66.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Peillot NV Bugey Montagnieu Brut

This is a really lovely alternative to Champagne and a great value. Montagnieu is a village south of Cerdon, in the Jura, with premières côtes overlooking the Rhône valley. This wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Altesse and Mondeuse and has complex herbal aromas, nice lemony ripeness on the palate and a long, dry finish. Franck Peillot works well in the vineyard and naturally in the cellar. Well worth a try!

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $20.99

Peillot 2015 Roussette du Bugey Montagnieu Altesse

Tasted first week of February in France - the wine showed more fruit than usual, really lovely white and yellow fruits with floral and citrus notes, with an ample but very mineral palate and a beautiful chalky finish. We look forward to trying this again on March 12th - certainly an excellent vintage for Franck's Altesse!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.49

  • Low Sulfur

Peillot 2015 Bugey Pinot Noir

Franck Peillot gives us a lovely Pinot Noir from the Bugey in 2015 with pretty aromas of red currant and cherry with a it of spice on the palate with juicy berry fruits. Well-structured and balanced and showing earthy fruits, spice and smoke in the finish. This is a lovely everyday Pinot to serve cool with charcuterie, chicken and pork dishes , and mild cheeses.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $20.99