Les Perles du Mont Blanc is made from biodynamically farmed Gringet and spends two years on the lees before disgorgement. Fermentation for the base wine is done with indigenous yeast; the second with Champagne yeast and there is no dosage added, making for an exquisitely dry wine with fascinating complexity. This bottling is richer than in years past, but still intensely mineral with heady aromas of pine forest, baking spice, and toasted walnuts. The palate is decadent, with creamy flavours of pear, wildflower honey, nutmeg and bright lemon curd. The invigorating acidity makes this a versatile, food-friendly wine to pair with roasted chicken, oysters, charcuterie, or cheese.
‘The village of Ayze is a little commune in the Haute–Savoie situated in the heart of the valley of the Arve between Geneva and Chamonix Mont-Blanc. Vineyards have been established here since the 13th century. The vines are 450m high on exposed south-facing slopes where the soil is composed of glacial sediments, moraines (continuous linear deposits of rock and gravel). The Alpine climate ensures a big temperature difference between day and night, ensuring both physiological maturity in the grapes as well as good acidity.
Patrick and Dominique Belluard make use of the virtually unique ancient grape Gringet said to be related to the Savagnin grape of Jura. Also called Petite Roussette and said to be part of the Traminer family, other research suggests that it was brought back by monks, returning from Cyprus in the 13th century. Wilful obscurantism apart this is a wine that expresses a lungful of mountain air, heck, it’s as glacial as a Hitchcock heroine, with exuberant acidity that skates across the tongue and performs a triple salchow on your gums. No malolactic fermentation – the fruit is beacon-bright, crystalline and the acidity sings. Aromas of white flowers and jasmine, citrus-edged with a hint of white peach, violet and a twist of aniseed to finish. The brilliance of the acidity provides a profound palatal expergefaction (you heard it here first). These are wines sans maquillage.