A et M Quenard Savoie Chignin Mondeuse Vieilles VIgnes 2019 - $34.99
André & Michel’s Chignin Mondeuse ‘Vieilles Vignes’, however, is the crown jewel not only in this cellar, but in the broader world of Mondeuse. A finer, more elegant–dare we say Burgundian–Mondeuse we have never yet tasted. Sourced from vines in their home village of Chignin, this bottling showcases the Quenard’s oldest vines of Mondeuse, dating back at least 70 years. Their iteration is at once complex and deeply mineral, with an unmistakably alpine streak running throughout. Yet, it is also deep, serious, and tannic–reminiscent of a particularly wild bottle of Beaujolais, or an unconventional Red Burgundy. A wine of poise and distinction, we’re convinced that this wine would develop into a stunning masterpiece with age, and yet it is no slouch whatsoever to drink today. Either way, drink it cool with cured meats and cheeses, as they do in the Savoie.
Chignin is located to the far easterly reaches of the Savoie, a stone’s throw away from both the Italian and Swiss alps to the south and north, respectively. Here, as in most of the Savoie, vineyards are planted on nauseatingly steep hillsides, inching up toward the top of these tall hills. Again, as in Arbin, the weather here is sunny and warm for an Alpine region, allowing for the development of both ripeness and depth, along with the necessary balance brought on by freshness and acidity. Owing to its more serious origins and very old vines, this wine is aged exclusively in old oak, allowing for microoxygenation to develop the wine into the lovely Mondeuse that it is. As with all Quenard reds, it is neither fined nor filtered, making it as pure an expression of the terroir as is possible.
TUNES FOR YOUR JUICE
by Liza Morgioni
This month, as we explore two wines coming from the same producer, we will also take a look at two songs from the same artist: Fleet Foxes. One song, Ragged Wood, is from their first LP record released in 2008, and the other song, Going-to-the-Sun Road, is from their most recent studio album released in 2020.
Robin Pecknold, the frontman of Fleet Foxes, has always been inspired by the majesty of mountains here in the United States. He was particularly compelled to finish this most recent album after spending those first few “quarantine months” driving from his apartment in New York City to the Catskills. I think that A et M Quenard would agree that the mountains evoke strong emotions. The folks at Kermit Lynch wine importers even describe the location as “fairy-tale perfection”.
As you compare these two wonderful Chignin Mondeuse wines, consider also comparing how this band’s music has changed over time, yet continues to emit the same lofty, wanderlust-y energy. Ragged Wood is the perfect example of how Fleet Foxes gained traction in the first place with the vaulting harmonies and wilderness-centered lyrics. On Going-to-theSun Road, you can still find some of the favorite musical and lyrical themes that fans know and love, but there is a sense of confidence and ease as well, as Pecknold has settled into his sound once again. I’ll let Pitchfork say more about that, but now back to the wine.
It’s safe to say that the ‘Terres Brunes’ and ‘Vieilles Vignes’ contain just as much harmony and freshness. My roommates and I went on our own aimless road trips back in April, and I’m sure many of you will too before this whole pandemic thing is over. These alpine wines may be just the thing to drink apres ski. Enjoy them on days like that, after you’re done with the driving that is :) Feel free to blast the songs while in the car, though.