2018 Romain Chamiot Aprémont
Region: Aprémont < Savoie < France
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming, clay-limestone soils, 50 yr old vines, whole cluster fermentation in stainless steel and concrete, on lees for 4 months, aged in stainless steel 4-6 months; 11.5%
Winemaker: Romain Chamiot
MOUNTAIN MAGIC: The alpine Savoie region of France is better known for its skiing, hiking, white water rafting (and Mont Blanc!) than for wine. But while wine production isn’t huge here, it’s pretty special, thanks to the high-elevation, rocky sites (minerals!) and the extreme temperatures. Grapes need to suffer to become beautiful.
Romain Chamiot recently took the reigns of his family’s estate from his grandparents, his parents having chosen other careers. He studied oenology in Burgundy then returned to the mountainous and glorious scenery of the Savoie. It’s not an ideal place to grow grapes mind you, so one wonders what the French were thinking when they made the region an AOC. Much more appropriate for skiing and competitive bike racing (do the Olympics and Tour-de France ring a bell?), its situated near Albertville and the Alpe d’Huez. Romain’s 7 hectares of vineyards are scattered amongst 22 different parcels, most of which are on slopes so steep they must be farmed by hand. All are planted to the native white variety, Jacquère, which loves the hardy conditions.
This wine is the very definition of alpine -- crisp and linear, like a piercing gasp of cold mountain air.. It makes you want to run down the rocky, grassy slope singing the Sound of Music at the top of your lungs. But instead, you drink. Apples and floral notes dominate, flowing into a salty finish – so clean and minerally, it will clear your head of any stress-induced fog. Invite the neighbors over to share a glass over some cave-y cheese, and channel your inner Julie Andrews.