Thursday, August 13, 2009


For all you crazy kids jockeyed for membership to the Century Club, have I got a wine for you. The Domaine Labbé Abymes Vin de Savoie 2008 is 100% Jacquères, a native grape to the Savoie region in France, which can be found nestled tightly against the Swiss border in the central portion of the country, part of the Rhone-Alps region.

Comparatively, you could liken this to a Sauvignon Blanc, though there is much more minerality, and hints of almond paste, crème fraiche and fresh herbs. I have been a huge believer in this wine since I first tried it years ago. Our local gem distributor Vintner Select imports this one, though nationally it is mostly represented by Michael Skurnik.

The region of Savoie is primarily a region of white grape varieties, with Jacquères, Roussanne, Altesse (also called Roussette) and Gringet, as well as the red grape Mondeuse. These wines are characteristically mineral, floral and fruity, providing a great context for food pairings. Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are also produced here, and are reminiscent of their Northern Italian versions.

The Labbé Abymes Vin de Savoie is a youthful expression of the Jacquères grape, full of white flower notes and even a hint of star fruit and d’Anjou pears. I’ve served this alongside grilled flounder with a sauce remoulade, or just some raw oysters on the half-shell. And yes, it rocks with sushi.

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