While sorting through my bottles of wine over the past week, I stumbled across a bottle of Vin de Savoie made from Jacquère, a white grape believed to have been imported to the region in the 13th century. Savoie is located in southeastern France, in the foothills of the French Alps. The grapes in the region are grown at significant altitudes (the bottle I have lists a range between 800-1800 feet). One might instinctually conclude the growing climate is cold due to the altitude and the region is in an alpine area but because of the warming influences of nearby lakes and rivers, as well as the fact many vineyards are planted facing southward, the climate is warm. This allows grapes to readily ripen each vintage. Within Savoie, it is said the best expressions of Jacquère can be found in the Apremont and Abymes areas. Jacquère accounts for a vast majority of the white grapes grown in these areas. Nearly all plantings of Jacquère are in Savoie but there are small amounts in Condrieu (Northern Rhȏne region in France) and Portugal. The wines made from Jacquère are mainly varietal wines.
This week I drank a 2020 Vin de Savoie, AOP from Caveau Savoyard in the Abymes cru. Caveau Savoyard, founded in 1853, is currently run by the seventh generation of the Perrier family. This wine was a pale lemon color with watery legs. Aromas consisted of white grapefruit, white peach, green pears, green apple, and ripe huckleberries. On the palate, this dry wine with moderate acidity displayed the same notes of white grapefruit and white peaches detected on the nose but the green apples were slightly under ripe with a sharper acidity, as were the huckleberries. These flavors were combined with a crisp stoney minerality, mild salinity and green herbaceous notes which increased the complexity of the wine. The tree fruits and huckleberries lingered on the palate between each sip. This light bodied wine had an alcohol content in the low to moderate range, listed as 11.5% but could be 12%+. The acidity and the apple notes made me crave a traditional cheese fondue as a pairing option.