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Savoie hits the headlines (well, almost)


Avid readers of this blog will already know of our enthusiasm for the wines of Andre Quenard in Savoie. Robin wrote up her first visit in 2009 and two years later we are still singing their praises.

A bottle of Les Abymes 2009 is opened all too often quite shortly after midday to fortify us in our endeavours and the effect can be little short of miraculous. And at only £8.90 a bottle inc VAT it has to be one of best value wines on our list.


We are in good company – two of the more serious wine writers have written up Les Abymes in the last month or so.

Wink Lorch (possibly the world expert on Savoie’s wines which is now her main home) wrote as follows: “From the Abymes vineyards at the foot of Mont Granier near Chambéry, this light, dry white is made in a fresh style from the most planted grape variety in Savoie, named Jacquère. It is perfect as an aperitif wine or matches very well with charcuterie/cured meats or the classic cooked cheese dishes from Savoie, such as fondue or tartiflette.”

Here is her note on the Quenard’s Chignin-Bergeron Les Terrasses 2008: “Surrounded by vineyards, the pretty village of Chignin lies on the southern slopes of the Bauges mountains, near Chambéry. The most famous grape grown here is Bergeron, a synonym for the Rhône Valley’s Roussanne variety. Les Terrasses is Michel Quenard’s steep, terraced vineyard high above the valley where his best Bergeron is grown to produce a rich, honeyed dry white wine. It matches grilled fish, the local pork pot au feu, strong cheeses or even foie gras.”

We are virtually sold out of the Les Terasses 2008 (just two cases left as I write this) but the 2009 Chignin Vieilles Vignes is a worthy successor and less expensive at only £109 per 12 ex VAT.

For lots more about Savoie and its wines (and all sorts of other good wine stuff) check out Wink’s blog here.

In the Sunday Telegraph Susy Atkins devoted a Stella column to the delights of Savoyard wines a week or two ago. She described Les Abymes as “Exquisitely light and fresh 100 per cent jacquère, with a floral note on the scent and fresh citrus zest – dry yet slightly honeyed. Track down for tartiflette and other hot-cheese dishes.” You can read the full article here – and find a recipe for the delicious (if heart-attack inducing) local speciality tartiflette.


And finally a picture of Savoie – just because it really is unfeasibly beautiful….