"Look, to be honest, none of our imports have been more hotly requested than those of Domaine des Aricoques; we've been hot on the tail of our friends to refuel us so we can keep all of their loyal fans sated!"
For a label that only began with the 2021 vintage, the duo of Romain Dupont and Guillaume Bellon have sure generated incredible excitement amongst wine lovers. The high school friends took over the farming of a nearly-5-hectare vineyard in Frangy (the locals are dubbed "Frangypans", hence the exuberance behind PAN!) within the Haute-Savoie.
It definitely draws our attention when young winemakers spend their formative years in dominant wine-producing regions - in the case of Romain and Guillaume, that includes the Rhône and New Zealand - and return to their home regions and implement what they've learned; the subtext there is the great hope of the producer to elevate their native appellations' wines and, by virtue of increasing the quality, thereby the notoriety as well!
They are in the extended process of converting their new home vineyard to biodynamic viticulture, which is in their estimation, paramount to creating the finest wines, especially given the poor soils that greatly reduce yields.
The new release, as alluded to earlier, re-introduces the PAN! line of wines: Altesse, a native grape to the Savoie, is complex and exotic in aromas, naturally low-yielding and bright With the duo's guiding hands, 50 year old vines and the 6 months in concrete eggs, this version of Altesse possesses a beautiful, luscious texture akin to Roussanne (but with acid for days!).
Le Rouze is entirely Gamay, with a focus on the freshness of the grape. Coming from the same poor soils, already Gamay here takes on a beautifully, compact, complex flavor of red fruit and spice, but the grapes see very little extraction before their fermenting in egg-shaped vats. There are some whole clusters maintained, which provide that lifted, delicate spice aromatically. The color may more closely resemble a rosé, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's anything less than seriously delicious.