This month, explore some beautiful wines from a few of our favorite regions in France!
NV Lambert de Seyssel Méthode Traditionnelle ‘Petit Royal’ - Savoie, France
Seyssel’s wines were recognized as early as the 11th century. Queen Victoria is said to have quite enjoyed them during her spa stays at the neighboring towns’ hot springs. Business was booming in the early 1900’s, when the ‘Royal Seyssel’ label was developed. Subsequent purchase by a large Burgundian négociant, however, bankrupted the company, and it wasn’t until post-2007 that the original family resuscitated the property. They are now, once again, producing delightful bubbles.
The ‘Petit Royal’ is 70% Molette and 30% Altesse, two Savoyard grapes known for their aromatics and freshness. Produced in the méthode traditionnelle and aged for two years sur latte, this wine is loaded with white flowers, apricot, peach, red apple, and honey. A slight yeastiness and touch of cream round it out beautifully.
2016 Alphonse Mellot ‘La Moussière’ Sancerre Rosé - Loire, France
The Mellot family is mentioned in the lore of Sancerre as early as 1513. The family’s wines were very well known throughout the region; indeed, César Mellot was appointed as Wine Advisor to Louis XIV in 1698. A wine tavern founded by Alphonse Mellot in the early 19th century resulted in a shipping license being granted to the family in 1881. This introduced the Mellot wines to the rest of Europe and beyond.
Today, Mellot continues the tradition of making incredible wines from some of the best vineyards in Sancerre. This bright, delicate, fruit-driven Pinot Noir rosé is an excellent example of the Mellot style. Hints of oyster shell and rose petal add to the wine’s complexity, and balanced acidity keeps it perfectly refreshing.
2016 Alain Jaume & Fils Vacqueyras ‘Grande Garrigue’ - Rhône, France
Vacqueyras is a relatively new wine region by French standards, having received its appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) status in February of 1990. Its name derives from the Latin “valléa quadreria” (“valley of rocks”) due to the presence of the ubiquitous galets. It is a quite small AOC focused on production of Grenache Syrah Mourvedre blends.
Established in the northern part of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the Jaume family has been making wine since 1826 when Mathieu Jaume started harvesting grapes. Since 1979, Alain Jaume has run the Domaine, now with the help of his two sons, Sébastien and Christophe, and daughter Helene. Vignobles Alain-Jaume continues to be one of Kysela’s top producers.
The Vacqueyras ‘Grande Garrigue’ offers a cornucopia of aromas and flavors, with notes of blackberries, roasted meat, violets, dried herbs, and black and white pepper. It undergoes a long cold maceration, traditional fermentation in stainless steel, and aging in concrete vats and three-year-old barriques. Bottled after 14 months.