Born from Devastation and Rubble: 2011 Masson Apremont Vieilles Vignes du Siecle

Posted by Joe Salamone

Born from Devastation and Rubble
2011 Masson Apremont
Vieilles Vignes du Siecle
Mountain Muscadet - Only Bottles in the U.S.

Jean-Claude Masson is doing for the Jacquere grape what Valentini did for Trebbiano or Pepiere did for Muscadet.

Which is to say he's taking what's often thought of as a lowly grape and taking it to new, unprecedented levels. Jean-Claude Masson is able to render the Jacquere grape with a textural fascination and complexity like no one else.

On Monday, we offered Masson's cuvée Lisa. Today, we turn to what has to be considered the grandest expression of Jacquere on earth: the 2011 Vieilles Vignes du Siecle.

This is the wine that flaunts the truly spellbinding complexity that the grape can achieve. David Schildknecht has called this bottling "exhibit A in the case for truly profound (yet for all that no less exhilarating or ultimately refreshing) Jacquere."

The wine is ruthless, showing a multifaceted minerality along with crushed white flowers, lime and notes of Asian pears and other stone fruits. This is a forceful wine, beyond impressive in its verve and persistence, its compact and still a kaleidoscopic presentation of mineral, fruit and flower.

It's almost laughable - this is the super-cuvée of the Savoie, from one of the most conscientious growers in this mountain region... and the wine is $23.95.

Quantities are very limited - for this reason this offer only goes out to a select group of people who've supported our Savoie, Jura and Loire programs.

To call Masson terroir-obsessed is a significant understatement. From only 9 hectares he bottles somewhere between eight and ten different wines, all from Jacquere, focusing on subtle differences of terroir.

If this is a rather obscure (no matter how compelling) nook of the wine world, the history here is dramatic. Apremont, which means bitter mountain, gets its name from a landslide from the peak of Mont Granier that buried the village with stony rubble in the 13th century. In the wake of the devastation, an impressive rocky terroir was born.

This is an expression of minerality really unlike anything else out there. At well under $30 this is nothing short of a silly value.

The increasing availability and quality of Savioe's wines is one of the more exciting recent developments for me. Judging by the positive responses we've had from previous Savoie offers (wines such as Belluard and Lupin), this excitement is shared by a good amount of you.

Masson's 2011 Vielles Vignes du Siecle shows why the Savoie is such an exciting region for fascinating wines, and for value. For lovers of mineral wines, of the diversity for the wine world, of value, this shouldn't be missed.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits