by Dixon Brooke
On these pages we recognize the artistry and talent of three generations of Quenards working side by side in Chignin. André, his son Michel, and Michel’s sons Guillaume and Romain are quietly, modestly, and painstakingly producing some of the Savoie’s greatest wines. Michel is the president of the Savoie appellation, and he cuts quite an imposing figure over there. If you ever drive the autoroute between Chambéry, France, and Geneva, Switzerland, you can’t miss the unbelievable towering slopes of Torméry. Torméry is a lieu-dit of the village of Chignin, which sits just below the mountain peak known locally as “La Savoyarde.” The limestone scree that has tumbled down over the years gives the Quenards their impossibly steep terroir on the foothills of the slopes, which is the birthplace of their utterly singular Jacquère- and Roussanne-based wines.
With the taste of a fresh mountain spring gurgling through an alpine meadow, this sparkling Jacquère is the ultimate introduction to the stony, mountain-born Quenard style.
$24.00 per bottle $259.20 per case
2012 “LES ABYMES”
Another Jacquère, this time mostly still but just a touch perlant. This has always been the locals’ preferred style, but as their style changes, we are embracing the old here in America. Cool, sleek, delightfully easy to drink.
$16.00 per bottle $172.80 per case
2012 CHIGNIN BERGERON “LES TERRASSES”
From old-vine Bergeron (Roussanne) grown on terraces sculpted out of the steep limestone slopes, this is one of the world’s ultimate expressions of the grape. The combination of Roussanne’s lush, honeyed pit fruit side with the high-altitude stony locale of Torméry makes for quite a show.
$30.00 per bottle $324.00 per case
2011 CHIGNIN BERGERON “LE GRAND REBOSSAN”
This is the single best wine produced by the Quenards, in my humble opinion. Born of the collaboration with Kermit that blossomed many years ago, some of their best Roussanne is fermented (including malo) in large foudres, vinified dry, and aged a year longer than their other whites. Drink it now or later, but by all means drink it.
$34.00 per bottle $367.20 per case