Vinification: 100% Jacquere. Organic and biodynamic. Fruit is hand-harvested, followed by fermentation in neutral oak with indigenous yeasts on the skins for 6 weeks. Finally, the wine is rested for 1 year in the same barrel and bottled unfined, unfiltered, with no sulphur.
Producer profile: Despite having grown up in Paris, Jean-Yves knew the alps from an early age. His mother’s family kept a holiday home in Chevaline, a mountainside hamlet in the Haute-Savoie near ‘the cleanest lake in Europe,’ Lake Annecy, a body of water whose glacial origins are self-evident when set against this fairy-tale backdrop that scrapes the sky. So it was here that Jean-Yves would first fall for this kind of place, here that the prospect of a life in the mountains would tattoo itself to his mind.
There are so many routes to the vine, however, and for Jean-Yves his path was first through the life borne out by his Parisian upbringing; he planned a career in pharmaceutical research and biochemistry. One thing led to another, and soon he was in Bordeaux studying biochemistry, where chance, curiosity, and mingling with the right bunch of oenologically-minded classmates lit the winemaking fuse. He worked several harvests across the world: notably in Oregon & New Zealand before Cornas with Thierry Allemand who then urged him to head north and harvest with the Alsatian whiz Bruno Schueller. This was all back in the early aughts. With experience comes confidence that can undergird the freedom to risk, to adventure. Newly minted with some of that hard-won harvest-work, Jean-Yves returned to a vision of the mountains; he could work some Savoyard vines and vinify in the cellar at his family’s holiday home in Chevaline. This was how and where he began to forge the most ‘natural’ path in the Savoie, experimenting with long macerations (especially of the whites, inspired by Schueller), picking south-facing grapes at uber-ripeness, and utilizing long periods of élevage through various vessels.
Around 2017, he fully moved his operation over to Conflans – a frozen-in-time medieval commune about 40 minutes southeast in Savoie-proper perched above the famous city of Albertville that sits at the confluence of the Isère and Arly rivers. His winery is carved into the schistose hillside above, and his vines are old for this area – 60-100 years – while also distinctly Savoyard: Altesse, Roussane, Jacquere & Chasselas among them.