Selection Massale Savoie Offering 2010
David Dupasquier, Domaine Dupasquier, Savoie
Along with the traditions, know how, name, deep cellar, great terroirs, and old barrels that come along with being a 5th generation winemaker David Dupasquier, along with his sister Veronique who runs this truly family business, has something remarkable in his vineyards in Marestel. He has old vines of Altesse (also known as Roussette) planted by his great-great-grandfather when he was just beginning the winery. It’s a remarkable thing, this continuity of not only the traditions that define how the Dupasquiers make wine (and believe me, they are nothing if not traditional, Noël Dupasquier, David's father, still works at the winery in his old age to make he sure that David can soak up all his knowledge before he has to call it quits) David also has the same vines to make wine the way the generations before him did, something that is being lost in so many parts of the world as vines are being ripped up for whatever variety or clone is projected to sell.
The steep slopes of Marestel
Marestel (pronounced "Maretel" without the “s”), one of the four named crus in Rousette de Savoie and the one with the greatest reputation, is located some 450 metres above sea level on the Charvaz mountain. The vineyards in Marestel are 100% Roussette, also known as Altesse, by law (elsewhere chardonnay is commonly blended with Altesse, but that is not the case here). Roussette, believed to be related to Hungarian Furmint family, produces high acid, minerally, long lived wines when treated with care. The vineyards are comprised of steep slopes of mainly calcareous soil, with some clay (argile) mixed in and a thin layer of topsoil. The proximity to the Lake Bourget is said to moderate the climate year round and provides perfect climactic conditions for the late ripening Roussette, important in an area known for the cold.
David works these vineyards entirely by hand, as a good percentage of the best Marestel sites are too steep to work with a tractor. Plowing is done once per year for every other row and David believes that the biodiversity this leaves in the vineyard is critical for the quality of wines. Harvest is by hand and clusters are hand selected. Fermentation is done entirely spontaneously; they have never had any call to yeast the wines even in the extreme cold. Elevage is one year in old foudre (David is obsessive about using old foudre only, which he considers traditional and the best fit) at which point they are bottled and left to age. This amount of care in an obscure mountain region of France that produces obscure mountain wines speaks volumes about how the Dupasquiers make wine.
And these are age worthy wines. While there we tried several old Marestels made by David’s father Nöel, since retired, concluding with a 1988 that had matured into a beautiful honeysuckled wine that still kept that bracing freshness and minerality that sets Marestel apart. Both of these wines can be put away in your cellar and forgotten about for several years, but if you wanted to open one right away we wouldn't have a problem.
The wines are set to arrive in March and ship in the spring.
This is Dupasquier's top wine and quantities are extremely limited for both vintages. Tell me what you would like and I will allocate.
2007 Domaine Dupasquier Roussete de Marestel 750ml: $23.71
2004 Domaine Dupasquier Roussete de Marestel 750ml: $25.97
Vintage 2 pack: $49.68
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