Romain Chamiot’s Apremont
This month our white wine is from Savoie (sav-wah), a wine region in the French Alps. The varietal is Jacquère (sounds sort of like jaw-care); it’s the most common white wine in this region. The bottle shares the same name as the sub-region it comes from, Apremont, which in French means “bitter mountain.” In the 13th century a three-mile-long landslide buried thousands of villagers. Pretty grim. It wasn’t until the 18th century that vignerons cleared the area for cultivating wine.
The Chamiots have been making wine for generations, and while they are not certified organic, they use no herbicides and do much of their farming by hand. Their white when is fermented in stainless steel and concrete vats, and sees 4 to 6 months less contact. Lees are the leftover sediment from fermentation. Allowing this contact provides the wine texture and aromatics.
This wine is pale straw in color. The nose is citrusy, with notes of clementines and white peach. These flavors recur on the palate, along with pear and fresh lime. This wine is medium bodied, textured and mineral. Acidity balances out the wine’s weight, making this bottle remarkable drinkable. Pair with something salty. Maybe bring a bottle to your favorite oyster bar!
Chakana Nuna Syrah
Our red wine hails from another mountainous region, but from another continent: South America. Chakana is an Argentine winery located in a sub-region of Mendoza, situated near the foot of the Andes. Chakana is the Incan name for the Southern Cross, a constellation used to mark growing seasons. The Chakana winery is family owned and certified organic, focusing on biodynamic farming and minimal intervention in vinifying their grapes. Fermentation occurs with indigenous yeasts. This allows for more complex flavors and structure than if they introduced a commercial yeast.
We chose Chakana’s Syrah for this month’s wine club. This wine is aged in a 40/60 split between used oak and concrete vats. In the glass it's inky, a dark red leaning towards purple. Notes of black cherries, candied raspberries, and leather can be found on the nose. These flavors recur on the palate along with hints of vanilla. This wine has mouthwatering acidity, with dusty tannins that grip all over. There’s also mineral aspect, like graphite, that balances out the fruit character. Chakana's Syrah is lively and fun! It is great on its own, but even better with BBQ chicken!