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Roussette de Savoie Wine

Roussette de Savoie is an AOC-level appellation of the Savoie region in far eastern France, specifically for wines made from the Altesse grape variety. Roussette de Savoie is a richer wine than most others made in Savoie, due largely to the qualities of Altesse, which makes more corpulent wines than the ubiquitous Jacquere. The wines have marked floral, honeyed aromas and a certain stonefruit character.

The permitted vineyard land of the appellation covers around 50 communes in the Savoie and Haute-Savoie administrative departments – an area shared by the separate Vin de Savoie appellation that covers a variety of red and white wine styles. The Roussette de Savoie AOC was introduced in 1973, at the same time as the Vin de Savoie appellation.

The coat of arms of Savoie

Four cru names may be appended to the Roussette de Savoie title. They are not necessarily the names of villages, unlike most of the Vin de Savoie crus. Instead, they denote specific vineyards especially well suited to the late-ripening Altesse grapes. These four sites are quite distinct from one another; Frangy in the north is separated from Monterminod in the south by 30 miles (50km), while Marestel and Monthoux fall roughly halfway between, themselves separated by three miles (5km).

The key characteristic of the crus is their steep slopes, which have rapid soil drainage and excellent sunshine exposure – a vital bonus in the cool, alpine climate here. For Marestel and Monthoux, their location between the eastern banks of the upper Rhone river and the Lac du Bourget (France's largest lake) makes for a warmer, more stable mesoclimate. The vines also benefit from the shelter of the Mont de la Charvaz, the ridge which runs along the western edge of the lake, peaking at about 3800ft (1200m) between the two sites.

The Marestel and Monthoux vines' elevated position keeps them out of the reach of low-lying frosts, and their steep southwestern aspect (different from the westerly orientation along the rest of the ridge) means that they receive sunshine much earlier than neighboring vineyards. Similarly, Monterminod is located on the south-facing slopes of one of Savoie's many mountains, overlooking Chambery below.

Frangy is the odd one out of the four, with its limestone-rich clay soils being the winning factor rather than its topography. It shares this feature with Seyssel, six miles (10km) to the southwest. In both cases the terroir is the result of a nearby river; for Seyssel this is the upper Rhone, while for Frangy it is the smaller Usses.

Not all Roussette de Savoie wine comes from these crus; it can originate in any one of the 53 communes across the region. Those Roussette de Savoie wines not from a cru are made under slightly less stringent production conditions, specifically higher maximum yield and lower minimum alcohol.

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Here are some wines produced in this region.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Eugene Carrel & Fils Roussette de Savoie Altesse, Savoie, France Altesse $15 23311
Domaine Lupin Roussette de Savoie Frangy, France Altesse $16 31327
Domaine Dupasquier Roussette de Savoie Marestel, Savoie, France Altesse $28 35627
Domaine Giachino Roussette de Savoie Altesse, France Altesse $21 44148
Jean Perrier et Fils Roussette de Savoie, France Altesse $13 46393
Domaine Louis Magnin Roussette de Savoie, France Altesse $33 58894
Jean Vullien Roussette de Savoie, France Altesse $13 59303
Jean Perrier et Fils Chateau Monterminod Roussette de Savoie, France Altesse $21 62605
Edmond Jacquin et Fils Roussette de Savoie, France Altesse $10 64870
Domaine de l'Idylle Roussette de Savoie, France Altesse $15 72845
Domaine Gilles Berlioz Roussette de Savoie, France Altesse $20 79444
Andre & Michel Quenard Roussette de Savoie, Savoie, France Altesse $11 82487
Jacques Maillet Roussette de Savoie Autrement Altesse Blanc, Savoie, France Altesse $20 90267
Domaine Dupasquier Roussette de Savoie, Savoie, France Altesse $11 103728
Edmond Jacquin en Fils Roussette de Savoie Marestel 'Grand Marestel', Savoie, France Altesse $21 107815
Domaine Jacquin Roussette de Savoie Marestel, Savoie, France Altesse $13 119005
Domaine Genoux Chateau de Merande Roussette de Savoie Son Altesse, France Altesse $10 120819
Edmond Jacquin et Fils Chateau Bergin Roussette de Savoie Altesse, France Altesse $13 120819
Eugene Carrel & Fils Roussette de Savoie Marestel, France Altesse $15 126656
Charles Gonnet Roussette de Savoie, France Altesse $20 128782
Jean Perrier et Fils Roussette de Savoie Monthoux, France Altesse $16 131016
Pierre Boniface Domaine Les Rocailles Roussette de Savoie Altesse Les Rocailles, Savoie, France Altesse $10 131016
Domaine Gilles Berlioz El Hem Roussette de Savoie, France Altesse $23 133256
Guy Justin Roussette de Savoie Marestel, France Altesse $10 135499
Guy Justin Roussette de Savoie Monthoux, France Altesse $8 135499
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