Controversy surrounds the origin of this varietal. Some literature says it may have been brought from Byzantium in 1367 by Amadée VI and in 1432 as part of the dowry of Anne of Cyprus, married to Louis II of Savoy.
According to other sources the name “Altesse” comes from the expression “coteau des altesse”; i.e. the terraces where these vines were grown, which is no guarantee of geographical origin.
It would seem that the first noble titles of this (typically Savoy) varietal can be traced to 1530 in Lucey, on the slopes of the Mont du Chat. This vineyard would be named Marestel in 1563.
Facing south/south-west, this grape has found its perfect setting on the steep slopes of the Marestel hills which can vary between 30 and 70%.
In the 15th century it was reserved for princes, and still glories in its justified prestige.
This vintage comes from one parcel of vines in the heart of the Marestel PDO, on clay-limestone soil in the area known as “Cognet” which means ‘the sun shines down fiercely’.
Picked when very ripe, maturing partially in vats and in 500 litre barrels of French Oak gives this vintage it’s straw-gold appearance and offering a variety of aromas to the nose including white flowers (lily of the valley, Hawthorne), ripe fruit, honeyed notes and smoke which almost hide the sweet almonds and hazelnut.
In the mouth this wine is subtly racy and heady. Its fine body and its balance between acidity and fleshiness leave traces on the palate.
A full – even, complex – wine, hand-picked. With maturity the flavours expand harmoniously.
Goes wonderfully with Foie Gras, fish, cockles or white meats.