Alpine Purity

Alpine Purity

Posted on Jul, 31. 2012 by

Categories: Wine

If there ever was a quality, a descriptor, of wine that draws me in on a wire, it’s “purity”. For better or for worse, I am a sucker for wines that have a very clear, pure “message”, that express their terroir and lineage and handling in a way unclouded by pomp, by distractions, by unnecessary oak or unctuousness or any other kind of superfluous dalliance. For me, tasting a wine like this in a lineup is like putting on glasses, like that Claritin commercial where a lens washes across the screen and the world goes from muddy to crystal clear. They are rare, and this is not necessarily a bad thing; if all wine was uncluttered, then these few wouldn’t be quite so special.

When I think of this purity in wine, a few particular styles pop into my head, like coastal-flavored Muscadet, or Spanish Viura, or Premier Cru Chablis, or…Apremont. Yes, Apremont, jewel of Savoie (that backwoods mountain region in the east of France)…a village producing some of the most obviously Alpine wine on the planet, and without any of the curiousness of oxidized Juras, etc. Behold, the 2011 Marc Portaz Apremont: a perfect example of this flawless soul. What I frankly adore about wines of this caliber is that the clarity never means compromising expressiveness; this is a pure wine, but it still explodes from the glass with stony crispness and soft lemon/herb, and a precise balance of acidity and velvety softness. What really strikes you with this wine, though, is that it is “mountainous”, to borrow that term – it is like mountain air, like melting snow, like wet rocks and sparse vegetation. It’s a wine that transports you if you’re in the mood for contemplation, or a wine that’s just unflinchingly refreshing, balanced and gulpable if you’re not. 

If you don’t know Apremont, then here’s a perfect chance to acquaint yourselves. If you do, then trust me when I say that this is the absolute freshest, liveliest example you will find right now. It just hit the shores a few weeks ago, and Apremont is something you just need to drink young. In other words, it’s got everything going for it, and you should be drinking it.

2011 Marc Portaz Apremont
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Retail Price: $13.50

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