2016 Domaine Dupasquier Roussette de Savoie Altesse «Marestel»
Region: France, Savoie
Grape Varieties: Altesse
Dry, full-bodied white; rich, complex | A slice of Tomme de Savoie
We count ourselves very lucky to represent the fifth generation of Dupasquiers to work the western slopes of Lake Bourget as siblings David and Véronique are gradually taking over from their father Noël.
This little-known region is less than 10km east of the Rhône River, and clinging to the shadow of the Alps. It boasts a fascinating geology, with streaks of Kimmeridigian chalk screes on the Mont du Chat, and cappucino swirls of marl and dark limestone on the Cluse de Chambéry. To mitigate the cooling effects of altitude, Dupasquier sites are on the West slopes of Lake Bourget, where their vines can soak up sunlight reflecting picturesquely off the surface of the serene water. Due to the steep gradient of the banks, many sites across the Dupasquiers' 14 hectares of vines can only be harvested by hand. Additionally, in order to encourage biodiversity in the vineyards, only every other row of vines is ploughed.
"Altesse" and "Roussette" are synonyms for the same indigenous, Savoie variety. It has been compared to Hungary's perfumed Furmint, as both varieties have a good acidic structure that lends it well to ageing. Marestel is one of the four communes in Savoie where "Roussette de Savoie" has its own appellation. According to the rules of the appellation, wines must be made of 100% Altesse.
The Dupasquiers' «Marestel» is dry and full-bodied; it is decidedly the richest of their white wines. The traditional vinification methods favoured by the Dupasquiers really come to the fore here. Unlike modern-influenced producers who use commercial yeasts and stainless steel, the Dupasquiers still ferment their wines in old, neutral oak barrels and wines see up to 18 months ageing in bottle before release.