Celebrations are on the agenda in the lovely wine producing region of Savoy. Here the little known and delicious wines of the Seyssel are celebrating 80 years of their Protected Designation of Origin label or in French its French AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) or European Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP). These are delightful wines and they are produced in relatively small quantities, the vineyard covers just 60 hectares (148 acres), making them even more special. These are gracious white wines, both still and sparkling.
The AOP Seyssel Molette or Altesse is the white wine made entirely from the Molette or Altesse grape variety while the sparkling wines, the AOP Seyssel mousseux, are made with the Molette and Altesse varieties and must be aged for at least nine months sur lattes, which means the bottles must be stacked on their sides. The Altesse grape variety is a typical variety found in Savoy and takes well to sloping territory. Probably originating in Cyprus, it was brought to the region by the Dukes of Savoy. Meanwhile the Molette, used in the Seyssel sparking wines, is a grape variety indigenous to Savoy.
We enjoyed an award-winning Seyssel Altesse AOP 2020 from the Maison Gallice emanating from its Trille estate. It was delightfully dry yet fruity with its notes of violets and almonds emerging as it was accompanied by smoked lake trout on toasted brioche bread. Another fine find was the Nuance d’Altesse 2020 from the Domaine Gérard Lambert estate aged in stone amphoras and whose violet and pear aromas make it a perfect aperitif wine although it accompanies crustaceans and shellfish very nicely. And then we moved on to the sparkling Seyssels. And these proved to be a fantastic experience. We enjoyed the 2018 vintage from the Clos d’Arvières estate, which had been aged for six months in a vat and then 36 months sur lattes or stacked on its side. Needless to say we are approaching a great sparkling wine here, a quintessential aperitif or dessert wine.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
Maison Gallice: + 33 04.50.59.25.73
Clos d’Arvières estate: + 33 04.50.56.10.02