Alpine Wine

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Alpine Wine

FRANCE:

Savoie (Savoy) / Bugey:

Though they are side by side and share many cultural and geographic similarities, there are some distinct differences. Savoie was historically controlled by the House of Savoy in northern Italy, while for much of history Bugey was a part of Burgundy. Savoie has many unique varieties (Jacquére, Altesse, Mondeuse) as well growing Pinot Noir, Gamay and Roussanne (called Bergeron here). It is also an area well known for vermouth production, in part from all of the lovely botanicals growing wild in the mountains. Bugey lies just west of Savoie and grows some of its neighbor's indigenous varieties, but its historical influence shows with much more Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay and even Aligote.  

Caveau Bugiste "Manicle Cuvée des Eboulis Blanc" 2016  -  $22  (Bugey)

Les Cortis "Uzée" 2019  -  $28  (Bugey)

Les Cortis "Naxide" 2019  -  $29  (Bugey)

and a vermouth to sample?

Dolin - Vermouth de Chambéry  -  $16  (Savoie)

Jura:

Certainly the largest and most historically significant of the "alpine regions", Jura was a prominent wine region leading into the 19th Century, especially centered around the area of Arbois. Here, in the French Alps between Burgundy and the Swiss border, inspired wines are made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as well as the indigenous varieties Poulsard (or Ploussard), Trousseau and Savagnin. The white wines here developed a unique regional style, where they often age under "voile" (a thin film of naturally occurring yeast), which produce a richer, nutty wine. The most extreme example of this is Vin Jaune - which many consider France's version of Sherry.  

Domaine Philippe Vandelle - Côtes de Jura Poulsard 2019  -  $23

Domaine Pierre Richard - Crémant du Jura Rosé Brut  -  $26

Domaine Philippe Vandelle "L'Étoile Chainai Ouillée" Savagnin 2018  -  $26

Domaine de Montbourgeau "L'Étoile" Chardonnay 2017  -  $29

Josef Dorbon - Arbois Chardonnay 2014  -  $35

Josef Dorbon - Trousseau "Vieiles Vignes" 2018  -  $39

Les Matheny - Arbois Poulsard 2018  -  $43

Domaine Overnoy-Crinquand - Arbois-Pupillin Trousseau 2018  -  $45

Philippe Bonard "Point Barre" Arbois Ploussard 2016  -  $69

and for something really special...

Jacques Puffeney - Vin Jaune Arbois 2013  -  $105

 

ITALY:

Valle d'Aoste:

Italy's smallest region and, by far, smallest wine producing area. Tucked into the high mountains where Italy, Switzerland and France come together, wines come from tiny, terraced vineyards situated at dizzying heights. Plots are so small that the bulk of wine is produced by cooperatives, because it is the only financially viable option. Wonderfully unique grapes such as Fumin, Prié Blanc, Petit Rouge, Petite Arvine and Cornalin are found here alongside Pinot Noir, Gamay and a small amount of Nebbiolo (often called "Picotendro" here).

La Kiuva "Arnad-Montjovet" 2018  -  $21

Maison Vevey Albert - Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle 2019  -  $30

Alto Piedmont:

Piedmont is well known especially for the powerful and prestigious wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, two appellations in the flatter, southern part of the region. To the north though, wines are continued to be made where the hills turn into mountains heading up to the Swiss border. There are several distinct appellations in this area known as "Alto Piedmont" (High Piedmont), making wonderful, finessed wines: Carema, Gheme, Gattinara, Bramaterra, Costa dells Sesia, Canavese and more.

Ferrando - Canavese Rosso "La Tottazza" 2018  -  $20 

Produttori di Carema "Classico" 2016  -  $27

Fabio Zambolin "Vallelonga" Nebbiolo 2016  -  $27

Az. Agr. NOAH - Bramaterra 2012  -  $30

Ferrando - Carema "Etichetta Bianca" 2016  -  $79

Ferrando - Carema "Etichetta Nera" 2015  -  $100

Alto Adige:

The top north-eastern region of Italy, which is predominantly German-speaking due to the fact that it was ceded to Italy as recently as the end of World War I. Unlike the other areas here, parts of Alto Adige can actually get very warm (in the valley floors), but higher up the slopes remain quite chilly and there are a number of unique, indigenous grape varieties that make the region special. 

K. Martini & Sohn "Rueslhof" Lagrein 2017  -  $24

GraWü - Chardonnay 2017  -  $30

Cantina Alpina - Vigneti delle Dolomiti "Pale Mountain Rosé" 2019  -  $34

 

AUSTRIA:

Steiermark:

While most Austrian wine is made further north in the rolling hills from the west of Vienna to the border with Hungary, a small amount of very special wines are made in jagged mountains of Steiermark (Styria in English). This region crosses the border into Slovenia, where it is called Štajerska, which is also a place to find some special wines. 

Franz Strohmeier "Sparkling Rosé"  -  $38