Savoie is a picture of fairy-tale perfection: snow-capped peaks, green rolling hills, wildflowers, and cold, sparkling mountain streams. This idyllic region hugs the western Alps, where Michel Quenard and his family farm twenty-two hectares of vineyards along the steep, rocky slopes of the Coteau de Torméry around Chignin. The limestone scree that makes up this vineyard land, resulting from millions of years of erosion of the majestic peaks of the Massif des Bauges, lends great character to the wines produced here.
Michel’s grandfather started the domaine in the 1930s. Though he slowly increased the vineyard holdings, he also sold off most of his wine in bulk. It was not until 1960 that Michel’s father, André, began bottling under their own label. Armed with a degree in viticulture and enology from Beaune, Michel joined the domaine in 1976, expanding vineyard holdings and making improvements to the cellar. Today, he is joined by his son Guillaume. While they are far from the only Quenards in Chignin, they are certainly the most well-known—perhaps this is due to the severity of their terrain and the quality of wines it produces. The stoniness of their vineyards expresses an alpine freshness and lively minerality in their wines.
The Les Abymes is 100% Jacquere from 50+ year old vines growing on limestone and marl. All the farming is certified “Haut Valeur Environnemetale” (High Environmental Value), a three-tiered system developed by the French Ministry of Agriculture in 2001 to encourage farms and vineyards to focus on increasing biodiversity. All the harvest is performed by hand. The fermentation is indigenous and in temperature controlled stainless steel tank.
Aromatics are floral, delicate and powdery, talcum-like. Citrus zest, and crushed stone on the palate is enhanced by quenching, lip smacking, crunchy, zip-a-dee-doo-dah acidity. Perfect under the patio with the misters going full bore on a warm afternoon. Great with shellfish, or simply a cool me down delicious quaff!