Domaine des Ardoisières Vin des Allobroges Argile Blanc 2019
I’ve been enjoying the wines of the Savoie region of France for a long time, though primarily the reds and sparklers. This was the year I fell in love with Savoie whites.
Savoie is in the Alpine foothills of eastern France, where the border intersects with Switzerland and Italy. The whites, made of local grapes like altesse, mondeuse blanche and jacquère, all seem to have a breezy, cool feel to them, as if a fresh mountain wind were blowing right at you.
This bottle epitomizes the appeal of the Savoie whites. It’s made of jacquère and mondeuse blanche, along with chardonnay, all organically farmed, and it’s almost shocking in its incisive precision and purity. It’s easy to toss around the word terroir, but these wines truly have a sense of place.
Travis Tausend Adelaide Hills Riesling ‘Opa, Watch Out!’ 2018
Travis Tausend is a thoughtful Australian producer who makes natural wines in the town of Hope Forest, on the southern edge of the Adelaide Hills, which, as he points out on the bottle, was originally the domain of the Peramangk people.
I was drawn to his carefully considered wines when I visited him in the Adelaide Hills in 2019. I’ve rarely seen a bottle in the United States, but I spotted this one in June at Dame, a seafood restaurant that divides its wine list into two sections: one called James Bond, for the classics, and another titled Austin Powers, for the new-wave.
The riesling was even better than I remembered — fresh, energetic, textured and eminently digestible, a favorite word of Mr. Tausend’s, as I recall. At our outdoor table in Greenwich Village, the wine seemed to capture the peacefulness of the Hope Forest countryside.