There are a hoard of wine drinkers out there (who, me?) who not only tolerate acidity, they crave it. And while acid per se is easy to produce in wine – just pick the grapes too early – it’s specific flavor exhibits varying clues about quality. “Too early” means there is a lack of mature fruit flavors and body. Alternatively, grapes with full degrees of maturity and body are often woefully devoid of acid, so much so that acid must be artificially added in the cellar (this is true for >90% of wines from California, Argentina and Australia.) Perched in the Alpine foothills of Savoie, the vineyard that produces these white grapes can be hand picked for that rare combination of mineral richness and piercing, lovely acidity. Served too cold, it may taste merely of its sharpness. Served at nearly room temperature, it gains weight and seems to perform impossible feats of balance and persistence.
Short Name: Chignin
Full Name: 2013 Chignin
Producer: Domaine Jean-Pierre et Jean-Francois Quénard – Jean-Francois Quénard
Geography: France, eastern France, Savoie, between Lyon and Geneva, foot of the Alps
$9 g : $33 b
Varieties: Jacquère 100%
Description: High acidity combined with mineral weightiness.
Comparables: Unoaked whites, Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis, Albariño, Grüner Veltliner, Muscadet (NOT Muscat!), Very Dry Riesling.
Pairings: Seafood (walleye), cold foods, oysters, sushi,
Interesting Technical Facts: Hand-harvested, 40 year-old vines.