Alpine wines

Dino's Grotto - Washington, DC

Tasted April 25, 2019 by isaacjamesbaker with 175 views

Introduction

We got a good group of friends together for a loosely-themed "Alpine wine" dinner. I wish we could've sourced more Swiss and Valle d'Aosta wines, but those are not easy to find! We expanded the wines to include Jura because, well, we love Jura, and it's kinda close to the Alps, eh? A random Barbaresco snuck in, too. Good times, really fun wines, and a mix of vegetable, pasta and fish dishes worked well.

Flight 1 - Bubbles (3 notes)

White - Sparkling
N.V. Lambert de Seyssel Seyssel Petit Royal France, Savoie, Seyssel
90 points
This was a lot of fun, a Pet-Nat blend of Molette and Altesse. Rich nose of peaches, lemon curd, candle wax. Rich texture, nice depth, but really zippy and salty as well. Subtle bubbles, creamy-lees notes add texture. I really liked this stuff.
Red - Sparkling
N.V. Domaine la Bohème Festejar! France, Vin de France
90 points
Cool nose of candied red fruit, cracked black pepper, spiced tea. Faint bubbles, this has zippy acidity and some tannins, too. Cherries and red apples with a nice dose of funk (not too much), and some interesting menthol and pepper elements. Crushable yet complex, spicy and a bit wild but also pretty and clean.
Rosé - Sparkling
2017 Renardat-Fâche Cerdon France, Savoie, Vin du Bugey-Cerdon
88 points
Perfumed and floral on the nose, with candied red fruit mixed with tea, herbs, cinnamon. Sweetness balanced by vibrant acidity and slight bubbles. Juicy, candied red fruits mixed with cinnamon, herbs and tea notes. Fun, crushable stuff. 7.5% alcohol, this is a unique méthode ancestrale blend of Gamay and Poulsard.

Flight 2 - Whites (4 notes)

White
2016 Grosjean Petite Arvine Valle d'Aosta Vigne Rovettaz Italy, Valle d'Aosta
91 points
Fascinating stuff. The nose is steely and floral with honey and lemon curd. Creamy depth on the palate but there’s bright acidity and a good dose of saline-infused mineral goodness. Fresh and vibrant with yellow apple, lemons, rich fruit but complex non-fruit elements as well. Balanced, complex, a lot going for it.
White
2016 Robert Gilliard Fendant Les Murettes Switzerland, Valais, Sion
89 points
Well, this was a pleasant surprise. At first it smelled quite “neutral” but with air and warmth it opened up to show peaches, lemon crème, airy/floral notes. Nice depth of texture, a waxy feel but bright acidity. Dusty mineral and chalk notes with hay, honey. Pleasantly subtle and nuanced.
White
2016 Domaine Belluard Gringet Vin de Savoie Les Alpes France, Savoie, Vin de Savoie
93 points
Dense nose – there is a lot in here – but it breathes and show lemon curd, honey, sea salt. Killer depth on the palate, there’s this plump texture but the acidity and minerality are laser-liked, focused, and pristine. Pretty apples and lemons mixed with minerals, smashed rocks, chalk dust and salted almond. Deep, pretty, this really started to sing after a few hours open. My wine of the night.
White
2014 Domaine du Pélican Savagnin Arbois "Ouille" France, Jura, Arbois
92 points
This wine evolved a ton with air. Deep yellow color. Heavy aromas, this is a dense wine, but it opens to show honey, nuts, nougat, saline, seaweed and a big heaping portion of lemon crème pie. The palate shows really rich texture, and the oak is evident, but there’s still this great saline aspect and crisp, crunchy acidity. Deep yellow fruits laced with minerals, honey, almond and salted butter. There’s a lot going on here, and it got more and more expressive. I’d love to see what this does with five to eight years of age.
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Flight 3 - Reds (6 notes)

Red
1988 Camille Loye Trousseau Arbois France, Jura, Arbois
The nose is like a mix of Tawny port, tomato plant and volatility. Plush and sweet on the palate, Port-like with some baked fruit and lots of candied nuts. Not much acidity. Old and odd.
Red
2016 Caveau de Bacchus Poulsard Arbois Cuvée des Docteurs France, Jura, Arbois
90 points
The funk blew off to show red apple, spiced tea, pepper and green herbs. Bright and spicy with raspberry and red apple peel, dusty tannins. Zippy and spicy with pepper and herbs. This got more and more smooth and refreshing with air.
Red
2016 Château de Merande La belle romaine France, Savoie, Vin de Savoie Arbin
85 points
So much laffy taffy on the nose, along with pepper and black tea. The palate is dry, the tannins seem a bit bitter and green, medium acidity. Juicy purple fruit mixes with smoky earth, pepper and black tea. Interesting stuff, but not a very balanced wine. Maybe it deserved more time and air. Made from Mondeuse Noir.
Red
2017 Domaine des Ardoisières Vin des Allobroges Argile France, Savoie, Vin des Allobroges
92 points
Loving the nose here, as it’s a big mix of spices and savory elements (pepper, leather, spiced tea, scorched earth) on top of juicy raspberries and black cherries. Plush texture on the palate, with dusty tannins and really lively acidity, the balance is lovely. Juicy raspberries and red apple doused in pepper, anise, charcoal, with smashed rocks and mineral notes. This got more and more expressive with air, and it was my favorite red of the night. A Gamay and Persan blend.
Red
2016 Bodega Colomé Malbec Estate Argentina, Salta, Calchaquies
90 points
Deep purple color. Aromas are dark and tart with blackberry, blueberry, plum, with lots of loamy earth, cocoa, mint and graphite. Tangy acidity frames the wine nicely, balancing the moderate tannins, the balance is on point. Blackberry and tart blueberry, laced with mineral, graphite, earth. So pure and lively, this is showing very well now but I’d like to see it with a few years of age.
Red
2007 Socre Barbaresco Roncaglie Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
91 points
Nose of black cherries, smoky earth, leather, spiced coffee. Big, dense, serious grip, this is bold and young. Leather, menthol and anise notes add some complexity. Mid-palate has so much going on, and it’s delicious and put-together well, but the tannins finish so dry. Bury for a decade.
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