Domaine Louis Magnin

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While prospecting in the Savoie, the search for the best Mondeuse has to be conducted in the village of Arbin, the home of this fascinating grape. In Arbin, the Domaine Louis Magnin surfaces to the top as does the richest cream. This domaine devotes 55% of its eight hectares to Mondeuse, all planted within the confines of Arbin in the sector known as the “Combe de Savoie”. Another 30% of the vineyards are devoted to the Roussanne grape, known locally as “Bergeron”, all of which are situated in the neighboring village of Montmélian, equally renowned for its affinity to the Bergeron. The remaining 15% of the holdings are planted to Altesse and Gamay.

Louis and his wife, Béatrice, are dedicated to organic viticulture. Further, certain parcels are treated according to biodynamic principles. The vineyards, in general, face south-southeast and are planted on steeply-sloping hillside sites the soil of which is a clay and limestone mix with an overlay of scree. Almost all vineyard work must be done by hand.

Vinification of the whites is done primarily in stainless steel with malolactic fermentation following the primary alcoholic fermentation. However, the Roussette de Savoie is fermented in barrels of 500 liter size; this then being followed by a period of batonnage and elevage on the fine lies. Depending on the cuvée, the Mondeuse may see an elevage exclusively in stainless steel or there will be an elevage in barrel of different ages and sizes. More specific information can be found in the individual descriptions of the wines.

louis_magnin_chignin-bergeron Chignin Bergeron: The Roussanne vines used to produce the Chignin Bergeron are planted in a series of sites comprising about 2.75 hectares on steep slopes within the confines of Montmélian, part of the “Combe de Savoie”. The harvest is entirely manual; the grapes are pressed whole and racked off the heavy lies for the alcoholic fermentation; the malolactic follows and the wine is left on the fine lies in stainless steel until bottling; no sulfur is added during this process except for a small dosage at the moment of bottling. The Chignin-Bergeron from Magnin is lively, slightly saline, very fine and persistent on the palate. It benefits from several years of aging which allows time for the wine to become less austere and more generous. Certified Organic.
louis_magnin_grand-orgue Chignin-Bergeron “Grande Orgue: The “Grande Orgue” (or “organ” as in the musical instrument) is the prestige cuvée in white of the domaine. The grapes for this selection come from two parcels of the oldest vines of the estate. Vinified in a manner similar to its companion Chignin-Bergeron, the “Grande Orgue” is more ripe, round and fat without giving up the discipline that makes these wines of the Savoie so compelling. Frequently reaching 13% alcohol without the addition of sugar, this elite wine is marked by notes of anise preceding a penetrating finish of bristling minerality. Certified Organic.
louis_magnin_rousette Roussette de Savoie: The second white of the domaine, the Roussette is produced from the Altesse grape. Unlike its companion white, the Chignin-Bergeron, twenty percent of the Roussette is raised in small to medium-sized barrels. The vines are in two separate sites, the principal one of which is known as “Les Rochettes”. The total acreage devoted to the Roussette is seven- tenths of an hectare. Annual production levels can vary dramatically, yielding anywhere from 25 hectoliters per hectare to 40 hl/ha. The resulting wine is marked by honey, beeswax and a persistent minerality; there is firm acidity that is balanced by several grams of residual sugar (in the neighborhood of 5 grams, for example, in the 2010 version. Certified Organic.
louis_magnin_arbin-mondeuse Mondeuse Vin de Savoie: The classic cuvée from the domaine is produced from several parcels scattered about Arbin. The grapes, harvest manually, are destemmed before crushing. The period of maceration can last for as long as 12 days with daily pigeage in the first days. The elevage is principally in stainless steel but a small percentage is left to age in older barrels. The Mondeuse “Classique” is a rustic wine with a slight smokiness to the nose, herbaceous and spicy on the palate and marked by gentle tannins in the finish. Certified Organic.

Mondeuse Tout un Monde: This cuvee is produced from very old vines (between 70 and 100 years of age). In this instance, the “Tout un Monde” is aged in older barrels of “demi-muid” size. The old vines give a formidable density to the wine with wild berry fruit, raspberry-like, married to notes of game and underbrush. The structure of this cuvée promises a long and rich life in the cellar and at the table. Certified Organic.

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