Céline Jacquet is a young woman winemaker who established her domain in the village of Arbin, in Savoie. She created her domain in 2011 after studying and learning winemaking in Beaujolais. The domain is small, approximately 5 ha, and she wants to keep it small. Céline’s approach is very authentic.
She cultivates the traditional grape varietals of the Combe de Savoie: Mondeuse, Roussette, Altesse and Bergeron (also known as Roussane in the Rhone valley). She has vineyards in different places in the Combe de Savoie: Arbin, St-Jean de la Porte, Cruet, and Chignin. Many of her parcels, such as the one going into Mes Aieux or Les Echalats, are at the top of the vineyard, planted on very steep slopes who benefit from perfect south, south-east exposure looking at the alps and the sun. The work in the vineyard is very authentic and natural, manual farming as for most of it, the slopes won’t allow anything else, using no chemicals or industrial techniques, and caring for biodiversity. Of course, harvest are done by hand.
The winemaking is also very classic. Fermentation and maceration with the full cluster, preference for indigenous yeast as well as minimum addition of sulfites. Some of the wines, such as Les Echalats, don’t even use sulfite as bottling. Still, you can tell that Celine’s vision and wines are into classicism and authenticity, favoring balance, cleanliness, and precision to anything. Her wines show that Savoie wines can be much more than the simple wines to glouglou with Raclette! Her mondeuses, especially Mes Aieux, shows that good winemaking and fruit can lead to wines that combine very strong character yet being very soft and not heavy or high in alcohol.
For all wines, the farming of the vineyard follows natural methods. It excludes the use of pesticides and of industrial techniques and machines. Vinification is done with the whole grape for the red.
Chignin Jacquère 2018 (Savoie, Chignin AOP)
This wine is made from the Jacquère grape. Jacquère has been traditionally grown on the slopes of the “Combe de Savoie” and is the main grape used in the Chignin cru. The wine is very dry, gently aromatic with nice citrus touches and showing a very nice acidity and minerality. A wine for appetizers, seafood or even fresh cheese.
Roussette de Savoie 2018 (Roussette de Savoie AOP)
This wine is made from the Altesse grape. Altesse has been traditionally grown on the vineyards of Savoie and is the grape used in the AOC Roussette de Savoie. This Roussette is on the elegant and subtle side, and not overly exuberant. It’s light and clean, bringing discrete touches of honey and showing the fruit without any makeup.
Manon 2018 (Savoie, Chignin Bergeron AOP)
This wine is made from a selected parcel on the vineyard of Chignin. The grape is Roussanne, also known as Bergeron in Savoie. It has been traditionally grown on the vineyards of Chignin and is the grape used in the appellation Chignin Bergeron. As usual for this grape, the wine is bigger than the Jacquére, fatty and more on the white fruit, but Céline keeps her touch here and unlike many other Chignin Bergeron, the wine shows freshness and nice acidity. It’s straight and mineral on the finish and can hold a lot of different pairing options.
Mondeuse d’Arbin (Savoie, Arbin AOP)
This wine is made from the Mondeuse grape. Mondeuse is native to the Savoie region and almost only grown here. The Mondeuse d’Arbin is distinguished from other mondeuses by its terroir located on the steep rocky hill overlooking the village of Arbin, which gives its unique character to this wine. It has strong character although it remains a relatively light wine (12%). The tannins are soft and the taste brings a lot of licorice, a bit of smokiness and leather.
Mes Aieux, Mondeuse d’Arbin (Savoie, Arbin AOP)
This wine comes from a selected parcel of the Arbin vineyard high on the slope. It is made from the Mondeuse grape which is native to the Savoie region and almost only grown here. The Mondeuse d’Arbin is distinguished from other mondeuses by its terroir located on the steep and rocky hill overlooking the village of Arbin, which gives its unique character to this wine. Very much in line with the other Arbin from Céline, and as light, Mes Aieux brings a bit more of everything. It’s even softer on the tannins and brings more structure and complexity. For many, this is Céline’s higher-end red wine.
Les Échalats, Mondeuse (Savoie, St Jean de la Porte AOP)
This wine is made from a selected parcel of 45 years old vines from the Mondeuse grape on the vineyard of St Jean de la Porte. Mondeuse is native to the Savoie region and almost only grown here. This light red shows a very dark color and offers subtle aromas of black and red fruit. The taste brings smokiness and spices, like often with St Jean de la Porte. Very classic and classy, it can definitely age a few years for the best.