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Review Domaine Marc Portaz 2021 Apremont "Tete de Cuvee", Vin de Savoie

Domaine Marc Portaz 2021 Apremont "Tete de Cuvee", Vin de Savoie

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Near Switzerland, the Savoie produces brilliant white wines full of minerality and energy. Marc Portaz's version is a bit plumper and more inviting. We love it vintage after vintage.

Another Wine of the Month month candidate, perhaps?  If only there were enough of this fresh-tasting, friendly dry white Alpine wine to mount a campaign.  One sip of this softer, easy-to-like minerally white wine and we were hooked.  From the Apremont vineyard 1,050 feet above sea level, planted on the site of an ancient avalanche where the soil is made up of limestone rubble and glacial debris and clay sub-soils.  The vines are 30 to 50 years old, and the wine is aged on the lees in tank.  We’ll be drinking a lot of this rare wine, until it’s gone.

On November 24, 1248, in the middle of the night while residents slept, an enormous avalanche started from the slopes of Mount Granier and swept down to the valley below, burying small towns entirely with limestone rubble and changing the face of Savoie forever.

Centuries later, these fields at the foot of the mountain were turned into vineyards, as locals planted Jacquère vines, Savoie’s native white grape variety. It is these stony fields that represent Savoie’s finest terroirs, producing refreshing, high-altitude white wines with tangy flavors and lively aromas.

The Portaz family since the early 1980s have cared for Jacquère vines in their native Chapareillan, just south of Chambery, the capital of the ancient Duchy of Savoy and not far from the Italian border. (The regional flag/symbol of Savoie, a white cross on a red field, can be found on the family’s wine label. This crest was used by the House of Savoy, one of the oldest royal families in the world, who ruled these lands from 1416 to 1860.)

The family’s “tête de cuvée” or top selection is ‘Apremont.’ Translated from French as “rough mountain,” this wine is a tribute to the raw power of nature that dominates this breathtakingly beautiful corner of France. The combination of cheese fondue and white wine from Jacquère grapes is a Savoyard specialty.

The Wine Country.
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