This is the Domaine’s top white cuvée from a great terroir – a south-facing terraced vineyard on a vertiginous slope where the soil is derived from metamorphic mica-schist. Indigenous yeasts are used in the fermentation, which takes place in barrels which have already seen three to five wines. It has a nose that reminds me of comforting rice pudding and a concentrated palate of apricot, pear, toasted nuts, and orange blossom complemented by taut acidity. Special bottle that proves Savoie is very capable of producing TOP TOP quality wines.
Notes on the producer
Brice Omont’s 16ha domaine des Ardoisières was originally the project of now-retired grower Michel Grisard (Prieuré St Christophe). Michel took up the idea of a local association Vivre En Tarantaise who were looking for a vigneron to replant abandoned mountain terraces above the village of Cévins. The estate is named after the slate (ardoise) roofs of the cabins and stone walls. Brice does not have to contend with any chemicals used in other vineyards as his vines are the only ones in the area. The vineyards were classified Cévins IGP by the INAO (rather than qualifying for the Vin de Savoie AC) simply because the mountains here are so steep that there is one hour of sunlight less in the morning and one in the afternoon – not that ripening the grapes has been a problem at all over the last five years. The working day stops at 1pm as working here in the afternoon is physically impossible, to the point that Brice is considering clearing the hillsides at a higher, cooler altitude and plant more vineyards. It’s from these stunning, low yielding vineyards that Brice produces his finest cuvées Améthsyte, Schiste and Quartz.