Domaine Belluard 100% Pur-Jus Gringet 2014, Haute-Savoie

Summer is about to hit the palates of Central Europe! Traditionally a complicated season for my (almost) soporific dull Pinot devotion. Like last summer I'd like to take you guys on a trip throughout Europe in search for super scarce, super autochthonous and super great grape varieties. And again, I'd like to commence with a grape variety from France. Last time I've been to Galliac with a rather rough Prunelat. Almost mainstream nowadays, right?! This summer I head out to a personal blank spot. To Haute-Savoie in the alpine south-east of France. There, a white varietal called Gringet made itself comfortable for quite a while. Unfortunately its livelihood seems to be not so spectacularily great though. In the past two decades it lost more than two thirds of its acerage. In 2010 just about 25 hectares were left. So, pretty scarce I guess! Today's Gringet was produced by the regionally well known Domaine Belluard. Apparently they produce plenty of different wines from Gringet. Even a fizz! Todays's wine might be a bit peculiar for some tongues. This 100% Pur-Jus from 2014 could be described as one of those natural wines. At least it was produced without additional sulphur. Its vines were cultivated on very slope'y gravely limestone and clay-limestone soils. Ageing took place in those fancy oval shaped concrete vats. Oh hell, let's give it a shot …

Its colour wasn't all too striking: straw-coloured yellow, very clear and hardly any particles visible. The nose seemed like not so few natural wines. Rather lame and far from being refined or even sophisticated. Sorry for this utter bovine generalization! I got plenty of must - apple and pear must - cider, a mute hint of mashed bananas, a not so mute one of hazelnuts and for some reason strange impressions of clean limy water pipes. Actually, the nose wasn't me at all! My palatal impressions opposed to the nasal ones drastically. Especially on the second day. The taste was far more precise, earnest and nicely rigid and by far not as cider'ish as the nose tried to predict. Okay, I got juice of red apples, pears and a few bananas. Sure! However. here there were additional features of green twigs, green pepper, other herbs, a hint of well fitting nutty oxidative'ness, a bit of coconut, maybe some soap and most definitely a lovely stern saltblast. Summarized: there was complexitiy and plenty of aroma! Furthermore, on the second day it appeared much more blanaced and inclusive. It was and is still a very young wine after all! On the palate it had plenty of character, grip, loveable goofy seriousness - perhaps dotty seriousness is more suitable, even a fair amount of density and assonant refinement. Give it some time to evolve … in case you were able to hunt one of the few bottles. For me surely a downright decent **** and somehow educational wine.

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