Rosenthal Wine Merchant has long viewed its alpine portfolio as one of its hidden treasures. This stable of growers, nestled among remote mountain valleys, care for esoteric native grape varieties at the very edge of the vine’s climatic range. Under these conditions, they nevertheless produce wines of electrifying acidity, concentration, and balance, that somehow sing with notes of alpine herbs and remind the drinker of the mineral-laden waters of mountain streams. This section of our portfolio, often so overlooked, was spotlighted in two recent pieces by Eric Asimov, and we are thrilled to offer you these bottles with RWM Selections.
2014 Louis Magnin Chignin Bergeron:
Working eight hectares on the incredibly steep slopes above the village of Arbin and Montmélian, Louis and Béatrice Magnin make some of the ultimate red and white wines in the Savoie, known in English as Savoy. The Roussanne vines used to produce the Chignin Bergeron are planted on 2.75 hectares of steep slopes near the village of Montmélian. The harvest is entirely manual, and the wine ferments spontaneously, going through malolactic before an élevage in stainless-steel tanks (a small dose of sulfur is added only at bottling). Magnin’s Chignin-Bergeron is lively, slightly saline, very fine, and persistent on the palate. It benefits from several years of aging which allows time for the wine to become less austere and more generous. Certified Organic.
2020 Romain Chamiot Apremont:
The Chamiot family has owned vineyards in the picturesque Apremont appellation of the Savoie for several generations, and the young Romain has recently taken the reigns from his grandparents to continue the lineage. The domaine is spread among 30 parcels, which total 7 ha. Most are old plantings of the local Jacquère, with most vines 40-50 years old and some planted up to 80 years ago. As Eric Asimov writes, “[T]he world needs plenty of wines like this, intended simply for pleasure and refreshment when your mind is on other matters. This bottle epitomizes what the Apremont region is known for: light, fresh, floral wines made from the jacquère grape.”
2019 Grosjean Torette:
The Grosjean family traces its roots back to the village of Fornet in the high mountain passes known as the Valgrisenche, where they raised cattle. During the summer months, the family cultivated grapes and chestnuts on the slopes at lower altitude, stocking up on wine to supply themselves over the long winters. In 1969, after Dauphin Grosjean was recognized for the exceptional quality of his work, the entire family became engaged in the expansion of the vineyards and in wine production. The estate now encompasses 7 ha, spread between Quart and Saint Christophe. The domaine's holdings include numerous “cru” vineyard sites such as Quart’s Rovettaz and Saint Christophe’s Merletta, which have long been noted as some of the valley's best sites. An indigenous blend of 80% Petit Rouge together with a varying amount of Vien de Nus, Doucet, Fumin and Mayolet, this wine ages in both stainless-steel tanks and oak casks. As Eric Asimov writes, “The Torrette is a lively red, with good acidity befitting its high-altitude site, and classic Italian dry red fruit flavors.” Certified Organic.