Domaine Giachino Roussette de Savoie "Altesse" 2011

Just like any other industry, the wine industry has its trends. Unlike other businesses, new wines tend to last as the business of wine is, well, centuries old. It's more of a rediscovery. We're reminded, as the world gets smaller thanks to the internet, of regions we have yet to explore, but want to learn more about. 

A region that we've known peripherally is the Savoie. Having opened the shop with one wine from Savoie and since having four currently in shop, and more than six different wines we've worked with, we feel as though we're getting familiar with the Savoie. 

What we can say is we love the altitude! It produces wines that are fresh, clean, with racy acidity and great minerality. They're interesting and they're cheese friendly. They taste good in winter (mountains) and taste good in summer (mountains!). 

Giachino's white wines are pressed slowly and gently using a pneumatic system. The vats are thermo-regulated to 5°C in order to clarify the wine. This process allows the Giachinos to drastically reduce, and even eliminate at times, the use of sulphites. A week to ten days later (this wine is left on its lees for a period of time), they extract the clear fluid, which will ferment with the yeast naturally present in the grapes. 

The result? The wine is rich with the aromas of quince, pineapple and almond. It has a weightiness about it that feels round and full, but the finish is clean with citrusy acidity and slate-like minerality. It's interesting and delicious. 

Giachino "Altesse" 2011     $20 a btl

meet the winemakers

David  + Frédéric Giachino
For many centuries, Frédéric et David’s family were agriculturalists in the rich Grésivaudan plain, producing cereals, nuts and fruits. They also had vineyards on the slopes of Mount Granier. In 1988, Frédéric took over the 1.5 hectares of vines that had been maintained by his grandfather, Marius Genton. 

Since then, the area has been entirely dedicated to grape production. Drawing on the wealth of existing Savoyard varieties, our vineyards have been gradually enriched by new varieties of grape. Situated in Chapareillan between the Chaîne de Belledonne and Mount Granier in the heart of the Chartreuse regional park, our estate covers 9 hectares in which we cultivate the Mondeuse, Gamay, Persan, Roussette and Jacquère grapes, of which Jacquère, the region’s most typical wine, accounts for 6 hectares.

When Frédéric took over the estate he started out using conventional methods, but gradually began to adopt more rational form of agriculture, which involved reworking the soil and grassing over the verges between the vines. The reintroduction of natural predators in order to limit the use of chemical pesticides enabled him, in 2006, to move definitively to organic agriculture.

After having worked in the wine sector for many years, Frédéric’s brother David returned to the Giachino estate when Frédéric began to embark on organic agriculture.