Adrien Vacher – Roussette de Savoie Cuvée Réservée 2014
For Christmas, I don’t usually ask for much but this year I said, “Okay, my tasting experience in French whites is flabby on some fronts. Get me a box of the following AOPs…” Said box did arrive and with a great wonder of different wines that I never encounter in Spain. It’s a surprise given that everything in there was very affordable with the Chablis being the “most” expensive at 12€ and the others far more wallet friendly.
One of the first that I opened was this Adrien Vacher wine from the AOP of Roussette de Savoie. This will most likely not clang a lot of bells for most people although it should. It’s in the Savoy (Savoie) region which for me will forever live in infamy as on my sommelier exam it asked what country that was in. I put France initially but then upon reviewing must have gotten swamp gas up my nose as I changed it to Italy… Undoubtedly the reviewers looked at that and thought, “How does this guy get that wrong but then know where the Thracian Lowlands are?” What can I say, I’m complicated and terrible at taking tests.
Needless to say, I’m crazy about getting everything about Savoy fixed up correctly in my head. It shouldn’t be hard as wines like this are very, very pleasing and for 4€, make for a pure “holy shit!” moment. This white is so crisp and fresh with acidity that when I first tasted it, I thought for certain they had acidified it. While that may or may not be the case, it’s a trait of the Altesse grape from which this is made. It has loads of character and blows away similarly-priced wines from Penedès. It begs to be had with many meals, even more so than my dog.
Naturally, this is not a wine to age and this bottle will probably check out in two years tops. Does that really matter thought when it’s a wine to go pick up a box of and drown yourself in when August turns sordid? No, no it does not. This Roussette de Savoie warrants more exploration especially as it holds four Grand Crus. If you like Muscadet, this is definitely another wine to put on your Yum Yum list, or whatever more appropriate name you have for it.
Cuvée Réservée 2014
Cream and white pepper spice. Fragrant orange blossom. Old wood notes that turn to hazelnut with decanting. Medium plus acidity in the mouth. Clean, refreshing, and much more complex that it initially lets on.
100% Altesse 12% 4€
Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014 95
First harvest of Khikhvi. Light apricot notes, peach skin, lemon peel. Citric in the mouth, fresh, lively acidity, vibrant. Very holistic, full and deliciously good.
100% Khikhvi · 12% · 30GEL
Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015 94
Bruised red apple, touch of lemon peel, limestone minerality, and some white pepper notes at the back of it. High acidity and full in the mouth. Luscious, involving, elegant wine.
100% Khikhvi · 14% · 25GEL
Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014 93
Apricot, yellow peach, orange peel, and a touch of honey. Quite complex aromatically. Orchard fruit much more prevalent in the mouth with young apricot notes. Rich and elegant, touch of astringency in the finish.
100% Khikhvi · 13.1% · 28GEL
Domaine of the Bee - Cuvée 2015 93
Ruby with minor garnet rim. Rich red fruits with an underpinning of ripe plum, orange peel, licorice, cocoa. Broad, round tannins with a touch of toast and sweet cocoa in a long finish. Manages to stay very light on the palate despite the higher alcohol.
50% Grenache 50% Carignan · 15% · 25EUR
Aquila del Torre - Primaluce 2015 93
Bruised yellow apple, bit of fig compote, chalky mineral notes, and hazelnut. Light oxidized touches that work to embellish the wine. Rich palate that carries lovely texture with the age of the wine.
100% Sauvignon Blanc · 13.5%
Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016 93
Lemon and white peach, strong kick of salinity, and toasted notes. Very fleshy and full on the palate, peach notes more prominent as well as Meyer lemon, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish.
100% Grenache Gris · 14.5% · 20EUR
AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012 93
Forest bramble with ripe red fruit, touches of cherry, ripe red plum, tiny bit of prune, cumin, anise, black licorice, wet cement mineral note, underlying fig jam. Crisp medium plus acidity, medium tannins, medium plus length, medium alcohol, overall medium plus body that’s ripe and lively but super fresh and balanced at the same time. Bit of rugged wildness to it but doesn’t get out of hand. Easy to drink but with just enough underlying complexity so that it stays interesting.
56% Syrah 27% Cinsaut 6% Grenache 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% "Others" · 13.5% · 12EUR
Domaine Treloar - Motus 2015 93
Dark ruby, minor rim. Big, mighty bouquet of red cherry and other brambly forest fruit, vanilla, almond blossom, orange peel, and cocoa. Rich and full on the palate with a wealth of tannins still integrating, leading into a crunchy, lingering finish.
80% Mourvèdre 10% Syrah 10% Grenache · 14% · 14EUR
Martivillí - Sauvignon Blanc 2018 92
Crisp green apple, crunchy and mineral, with a light chalky base to the aromas and excellent complexity. Balanced on the palate, very pure with a long finish.
100% Sauvignon Blanc · 13% · 8EUR
Domaine Madeloc - Crestall 2016 92
Ruby with light garnet rim. Mix of red and dark brambly fruits, eucalyptus, light leather, and orange blossom. Broad red fruits on the palate, lightly sweet aspect from the oak, rich dry tannins with a full structure and a long finish. Needs more time but quite good now.
100% · 14%