October 19, 2017 Martine's Wines

After many years of apprenticeship, Florian and Marie Curtet have risen as the successors to the dynamic Savoie producer, Jacques Maillet, who made his last vintage in 2015. They have christened their new venture Domaine Curtet, which is comprised of the same 5-hectare estate on the hillsides above the Upper Rhone River near Switzerland. The domaine holdings are highlighted by two distinct vineyard sites. The traditional grape varieties of Chautagne—gamay and pinot noir—are planted in the commune of Serrieres en Chautagne in the lieu dit Vignes du Signeur—or “The Vines of the Lord.” Nearby, in the village of Motz, the…

March 2, 2017 Martine's Wines

A beautiful winding road leads around Mont Granier, a 6,300-foot limestone cliff, to the northern lake area of Le Bourget, which is within the Savoie yet entirely different than the rest of the region. On the left bank of the Rhône River, on such steep hillsides that it feels like an extension of Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie, is the westernmost Savoie appellation of Chautagne. This region is epitomized by Jacques Maillet, one of the best natural producers in Savoie, if not in all of France. Having become sick from the chemicals used in his vineyard, Maillet sold most of his land,…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

From Domaine des Ardoisieres, it seems Mont Blanc is everywhere. The towering mountain watches over this small estate near the Swiss border from every angle, shaping the wines so expertly grown and made here. The domaine was planted during Roman times, then became overgrown with forest. A passionate group of supporters cleared the vineyard in 1998 and began piecing the steep terraces back together to create Domaine des Ardoisieres. Since 2005, Champagne native Brice Omont has taken over the winemaking and is now considered one of the most exciting producers in France. For the very first time, Brice’s wines are…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

In a tiny appellation — fewer than 500 acres planted in vines — between Jura and Savoie lives the embodiment of a great success story. Marcel Perinet began his career as a waiter. He became a sommelier (best in France in 1978) and rose to serve as director of 3–Michelin-starred Georges Blanc in Vonnas. After 41 years of working for Blanc, Perinet inherited two and a half acres of land in the obscure appellation of Cerdon du Bugey in the Savoie wine-growing region. Here, in this petite AOC, only one style of wine is produced: Méthode Ancestrale Rosé Demi-Sec. Perinet…