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Savoie's Noble Variety: Altesse

One of the "noble", native grapes in the Savoie region of France bordering Switzerland, within sight of the famous slopes of snow capped Mont Blanc, Altesse or Roussette vines thrive in this somewhat stony, cold viticulture area with its late ripening, low-yield, small white berries, which will take on a slightly reddish, almost coppery tint on their skins, when harvest time is close. The wines made from Altesse tend to be bone-dry with aromatics reminiscent of the alpine mountains, strong minerality and acid backbone, and well-made versions such as those made by Jacques Maillet below also have the capacity to age gracefully as they transform into something much more complex than a thirst-quenching white wine.

This 2013 Rousette de Savoie (or Altesse) in Jacques Maillet's Autrement series still boasts a bright lemon yellow core with aromas of fresh, ripe citrus, guava skins, lemon peel, alpine like fragrance, fresh bay leaves and a touch of bruised red apple tones. On the palate, it is quite citrusy, almost like a lemon drop, with notes of ripe green starfruit and Granny smith apples. Its high acidity kept the wine quite zingy and bright, which matched extremely well with some fried baby artichokes, pickled Japanese Kohada, and a small disc of fresh soft goat's cheese. The locals in the Savoie area usually drink this with cheese fondue and raclette, but given how warm our weather is in Singapore, we reckon a proper grilled cheese sandwich or four-cheese pizza will be just as fine, or when you feel like splurging, a whole charcoal grilled Turbot will be absolutely scrumptious with this bottle of Altesse too. We are down to our very last few boxes so if you fancy trying this, do get in touch of with us ASAP. Dote note that Monsieur Maillet had retired since 2016 so these babies are now rare AF.


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