After our stay at Domaine Mèjane we continued the journey to Beaufort, famous for its cheese. Here the local cooperative is quite involved in new technology, having installed an automatic cheese vending machine so no one will run out of cheese 24/7. They also convert the whey from the cheese making process to electricity which is more than enough to run the dairy, so the excess is sold. But this is a completely different story.
I definitely wanted to stop at Maison Philippe Grisard in the mountain village of Cruet. The winery sells my favorite Verdesse, a Frühroter Veltliner (called Malvoisie here) and Mondeuse Blanche.
Mondeuse Blanche is one of those ultra rare grape varieties from the Savoy that keep popping up in ampelographic texts. It is not a mutation of the much more common Mondeuse Noire but they are definitely connected. The Blanche’s second of fame came in 2000, when it was shown that Mondeuse Blanche and Dureza (another almost extinct grape variety, this time from the Ardèche Region in France) are parents of the world famous Syrah / Shiraz.
So three wines that would be worth a little detour, I thought, while processing the address into the navigation system. Passing a couple of bikers on the straight road was easy. Once inside the village I had to turn right, straight up the mountain, a steep and narrow road. Any oncoming traffic and I would have been in big trouble. Panicking I turned into the next corner where we met a friendly Savoyard who asked me where I wanted to go. Up to Maison Philippe Grisard was my answer. No Problem, they have a parking space was the answer in perfect German. Back onto the road and going up the steep road under the watchful eyes of some inhabitants I finally found the parking, one space even free to settle the camper van.
Just check the relative height compared to the mountains in the distance, and the steep road in the left corner… I had to go back down there without really having ranging space in the back, past the amused onlookers commenting…
Well, I didn’t feel like wine tasting at that moment, so I just bought two of each wine and tried the Mondeuse Blanche later back at home.
The bottle has been sealed with white wax, hiding a Noma cork.
Straight from the fridge: Banana, fresh and chewing gum. Quite full for a mountain white, balanced acidity. Cooked banana on the palate and long mineral finish.
Pouring the wine a couple of times from one glass into another (wine glass decanting) introduces fruit: Banana, unripe apricot, jasmine. On the palate cooked banana, apricot and a very interesting bitter sweet salty finish.
The next day surprises with more fruit: Banana peel, apricot, raspberry and cherry jam mixed with oat porridge and honey. One hour later the fruit is gone, leaving dandelion and honey.
The following day: Dandelion and apricot.
A very interesting grape variety on its own but next time I am not taking the camper van up to the winery!