THE Summer Sipper! 2005 Berlioz Chignin

Posted by CrushWine

The thermometer is finally rising - as are your requests for an imminently sippable, crisp and classic white wine to pair with the 80+ degree days that are already upon us.

Yes, it's time to "Back Up the Truck" for summer! From vineyards that date back to the 11th century and vines that are 30 to 80 years old, Berlioz's 2005 Chignin is a wine whose delicacy belies its searing intensity. While the wine is delicate and crisp, on the palate it unleashes powerful citrus fruits, lemon and green apple, touches of pear and a chalky minerality that's peppered throughout the long (long) midpalate.

A hypothetical mix of Sancerre, great 'village' White Burgundy, and Condrieu, its crescendo is a persistant and tangy acidity that will leave you cool and refreshed, even under the oppressive NYC sun!

The wine's secret is that its grapes are grown in France's mountainous eastern front. This is a wine that brings with it the glacial freshness of its mountain home and Gilles Berlioz's quality-first attitude.

These are high elevation alpine vineyards that wouldn't be able to ripen grapes were it not for their southern exposure and the curious "mountain furnace" effect - if there are mountains all around, the heat has nowhere to go. It's trapped, and therefore a place that is packed with skiers well into March can also produce some very, very good wines.

Though around 80% of the wine of this tiny region gets guzzled up by the local population and tourists who winter in its snowy peaks, Gilles Berlioz is one of the few producers who seeks something more from his vineyards.

In fact, while most harvest in September and bottle soon thereafter to supply the winter crowds with wine to pair with their fondues, Berlioz purposely holds off on bottling.

Rather than rush the process, he waits and bottles in the spring, prefering to offer the fruit of his labor to more discerning palates, even though this means taking on considerable financial stress (not to mention missing the easy sale).

In fact, though Berlioz is a relative newcomer, his passionate and rigorous winemaking has quickly put his wines on the shortlist of the region's top bottlings in Parisian cafes and French wine blogs alike. While his Chignin is pure and stunning, Berlioz also makes two other wines (a Chignin-Bergeron made from Roussanne and a red Mondeuse - order one of each for a perfect "Tour de Savoie) that are beautiful examples of what the Savoie can do.

To make sure everyone gets a shot at one of our summer favorites, please keep in mind that we will limit the maximum allocation to one case (12 bottles).

There is not much left! To secure your bottles of the wine that I'll be personally drinking Memorial Day Weekend, please reply to this email or call (212) 980-9463 as soon as you can.


Tom Stephenson
General Manager
Crush Wine & Spirits

2005 Berlioz Chignin

In Stock for Immediate Shipping / Delivery / Pickup