This superb white French wine made with Roussane grapes is worth a mention of its own. It is a very complex wine with suggestions of roasted nuts, toast, dried fruit, and occasional hint of anise or fennel. It is surprisingly fresh with a full flavoured taste, with a prolonged development of the bouquet. Do not drink too cold (approx. 12°C/53.6°F).
ROUSSETTE DE SAVOIE
The white French wines (Roussette de Savoie and Seyssel) are made with the Altesse (Roussette) grape. This ancient variety of vine is reputed to have been brought back from the crusades by a princess from Cyprus. The colour of the wine is pale yellow and somewhat pearl-like when young but this disappears
in due course.
The scent is reminiscent of a large bunch of wild flowers such as violets and irises with a hint of almonds. The taste is a full one and rounded. The wine sometimes also contains sugar remnants which makes it even more pleasant.
VINS DE SAVOIE ROUGE
There are three different types of French wine here. The Gamay is fairly typical and characteristic of its terroir. It colour is cheerful and bright while the aromatic taste is correspondingly fresh . Drink chilled to approx. 12°C (53.6°F).
The Mondeuse is much darker in colour with purple tinges. The bouquet and taste are more complex than that of the Gamay. You can smell and taste a mixture of red fruit, pepper, and spices. The tannin present can be somewhat harsh when the wine is young but this softens later. Good Mondeuse can be kept for a long time. Serve at 14°C (57.2°F). The Pinot Noir is somewhat rarer. It is ruby red and has a complex bouquet and and taste. Serve lightly chilled at 14°C (57 .2°F) .
Ayze is made with the Gringet grape, while Seyssel derives its charm from the Molette and Altesse grapes. Both are excellent lightly sparkling white wines of great elegance. Drink at 100°C (50°F).
The vineyards of Bugey lie to the west of Savoie in the department of Ain. This VDQS French wine is relatively unknown and often also unloved because of its fresh acidity. The Bugey wine-growing district was once more extensive but today the small vineyards are scattered over a large area, mainly on land with broken chalk soils.
Although there are a number of acceptable red and white still wines produced in Bugey, the sparkling Cerdon is the most interesting to mention. This French wine is constantly improving its quality.