Saint-Pierre-D'Albigny, Savoie, France
Domaine Saint-Germain was established in 1999 by brothers Etienne and Raphaël Saint-Germain. The two hail from a family of grape growers and, after training in enology and plant biology, they began estate bottling. Located under the Arclusaz mountains and the Parc Naturel des Bauges in Saint-Pierre d’Albigny, facing the Alps, the two brothers produce regionally typical and delicate wines with local grapes. Today Raphaël runs the estate and has gradually built up the vineyard holdings and gained a loyal clientele as well as some excellent reviews from the French press. With quiet determination, they converted their vineyards to organics and, over the simple winemaking cellar, built a tasting room overlooking the town of St-Pierre d’Albigny and the Combe de Savoie. They are now one of the leading lights in the region, working 12 hectares of vineyards of unique varieties including Jacquere, Mondeuse, Altesse, Persan, Molette and Gringet. The soils here are a glacial mixture of clay, sandstone and quartz. These are true mountain wines with exceptional purity and cut.
St. Germain Jacquere La Cuvee des Bauju(e)s Savoie Blanc 2016
From a tiny 0.71ha parcel 25-30 year old vines planted in morainic (glacial) soils. Gently pressed and allowed to ferment and age naturally for six months in stainless before being bottled. Pale in color with an amazing floral aroma and a pure mineral palate. This is like fresh mountain water. Organic.
Jacquere, pronounced jah-kere, accounts for 50% of all plantings in the Savoie. It produces early-drinking, low alcohol, lively dry wines. Flavors range from floral (white flowers) and fruity (pear, white peach, grapefruit) to mineral and flinty.
St. Germain Altesse Savoie Methode Traditionelle NV
A blend of 60% Altesse, 30% Jacquere and 10% Chardonnay planted to morainic, limestone soils. This spent 13 months on the lees before disgorgement and has only 3g of dosage. An aroma of white flowers, green apple and almond skin. A fine and persistent bead with a very clean finish. Organic.
St. Germain Mondeuse Les Taillis Savoie Rouge 2016
From a 1.28ha parcel of Mondeuse planted to clay and siliceous soils. Half the stems remained during the 7 day maceration. The other half was gently pressed in a pneumatic press. Natural yeast fermentation. Aged 12 months in stainless steel. Bright color with a nose of blackcurrant. Sharp and peppery on the palate, typical of Mondeuse, with pleasant roundness. Organic
From Wine Folly: Mondeuse [mohn-deuhz] is a native to Savoie and has been cultivated by the Gallic tribe of Ancient Gaul (the Allobroges) prior to the Roman invasion. Columella, the famous roman writer who wrote about farming and agriculture, referred to mondeuse as “the grape variety that ripens amidst the snow”. Mondeuse strives on scree slopes, marl and limestone soils. Its best expression can be found in the commune of Arbin. Wines made from mondeuse have a deep purple color, a well-structured acidity and well-integrated tannins. Flavors range from red fruits (strawberry, redcurrant, raspberry, sour plum) and flowers (violet) to gamey overtones and spice (white pepper, cinnamon, cloves). Mondeuse wines show great ageing potential (10 years +). When young, they should be drank at least 12 months after bottling.