Alpine Wines

With enforced confinement come dreams of escape. In this wintry season, the call of the mountains is particularly strong. For some, it’s the thought of sweeping vistas; for others, it’s the promise of adventure. For many, it’s the spectacular local feasts that loom large in the imagination: the cheeses, the meats, the mushrooms, and the wines. So here’s a set of bottles, carefully chosen to transport you to those special places, with wines you have to discover.


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Alfio Mozzi

2017 Grisone, Alfio Mozzi, Valtellina Superiore, Lombardy

Red | Still

The first, and the most important wine of the estate, is the Sassella Valtellina Superiore ‘Grisone’. In 2017, it was the only wine they made, and therefore includes fruit from all three of the estate’s vineyards, with schist terraces between 350m and 550m above sea level, including the old Mossino vineyard, with vines of over 100 years old. Delicate in colour, but with incredibly vibrant fruit, notes of wild berries, freshly cut herbs, and lots of floral notes, this is a brilliant Nebbiolo.

Ready: 2021 - 2029

2016 Sforzato di Valtellina, Alfio Mozzi, Lombardy

Red | Still | 16%

Alfio makes a tiny quantity - just 2,000 bottles - of Sforzato di Valtellina: an Amarone-like dry wine, made from dried Nebbiolo grapes. Still delicate in colour, the nose is beautifully perfumed: this is recognisably Nebbiolo. The palate has a weight and power to it, and notes of dried fruit and dried herbs, but it doesn’t have the overripeness of Amarone. Brilliantly balanced, and very long and finely judged.

Ready: 2021 - 2032

2016 Grisone Riserva, Alfio Mozzi, Valtellina Superiore, Lombardy

Red | Still

In the finest vintages, such as 2016, Alfio makes a tiny quantity of Riserva, with just 2,500 bottles produced in 2016. This all comes from the Mossino vineyard, their highest plot, planted in an amphitheatre that points due south. A blend of old and young vines, and a little of the high-acid Rossola, creates a wine of incredible focus, purity, and intensity. The nose here is so mineral, with a slight iodine note and blood orange, and a very long finish.

Ready: 2021 - 2034
Cesconi

2016 Olivar, Cesconi, Trentino

White | Still

From the historic Olivar vineyard comes a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Bianco: a serious and complex white that blossoms with a few years in the bottle. The vineyard, and the wine, take their name from a centuries-old olive tree that overlooks the vines, and here the altitude of 450m as well as protection from northerly winds makes a very special microclimate. There’s lots of palate weight here, with hints of oak spice, ripe peaches, and a lovely thread of acidity. More weighty than the other wines, there’s a long and savoury finish.

Ready: 2021 - 2028

2018 Pinot Grigio, Cesconi, Trentino

White | Still

This comes from a few different vineyards, at 400 metres above sea level, with vineyards cooled by the Ora del Garda wind that blows in the afternoon here. A beautiful salmon tinge to this, and the nose points to real complexity. Lovely vibrancy, notes of peach skin and orange blossom, and also a hint of phenolic bitterness keeping everything balanced. Really lovely.

Ready: 2021 - 2024

2018 Nosiola, Cesconi, Trentino

White | Still

Nosiola is the only autochthonous (indigenous) white variety in Trentino, with its origins dating back at least to the 16th century. There are debates as to the origins of its name: some claim it’s due to the hazelnut (“nocciola”) colour that the grapes and stems take on at full ripeness; others point to the slight aroma of fresh hazelnuts when the grape is picked. An almost Riesling note on the nose, with hints of lime blossom and loads of intense fruit. There’s a savouriness here, and also a weight on the palate. Very finely judged, with just a hint of more exotic fruit coming through on the back palate, and a lovely, mouthwatering, phenolic finish.

Ready: 2021 - 2028
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Domaine Blaise Duboux

2019 Haut de Pierre Dézaley Grand Cru, Blaise Duboux, Switzerland

Dry | White | Still

Les Hauts de Pierre is the pinnacle of Blaise’s production. It comes from a single parcel of old vine Chasselas, and is powerful, textured, and intense, almost reminiscent of top Burgundy. This 2019 is a little closed, but with texture and purity on the palate, it points to a long life ahead. The salinity and leesy complexity on the palate lasts an age, with notes of citrus and more savoury elements unfurling over time: this is a remarkable Swiss white.

Young: 2023 - 2033

2019 Les Murets Vilette, Blaise Duboux, Switzerland

Dry | White | Still

Les Murets comes from the commune of Villette. It’s a delicate, elegant expression of Chasselas: the perfect introduction to the grape. From sandy, chalky soils, it’s a mineral, floral wine, ideal with lighter dishes. Notes of rose petal and watermelon, and a lovely savoury lift on the finish. Very good value.

Ready: 2021 - 2024
Domaine Tissot

2018 Arbois Rouge DD Sans Soufre, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

Magnum Red | Still

This cuvée is an homage to Stéphane's father, André (dédé/DD) who began making this wine. It is a blend of Pinot Noir, Trousseau and Poulsard which is made in a "glouglou" style without sulphur for easy drinking. Its long, gentle fermentation and ageing in hundred-year-old foudres preserve the natural freshness of the varieties. It is bottled with a little more CO2 than most wines to compensate for the lack of added sulphur dioxide. This provides a prickle of freshness, and a quick carafing might be advised. This quintessentially Jurassic red is wonderful for early, easy drinking.

Ready: 2021 - 2025

2018 Arbois Traminer, Savignin Ouillé, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

White | Still

Unlike the Savagnin barrels that go into the production of vin jaune and Château-Chalon, these are topped up regularly, protecting the wine from developing the characteristic oxidative notes of those wines. Instead this is fresh, bright, and vibrant with a pithy, waxy citrus fruit energy. An increasingly popular style, nevertheless still produced in tiny quantities.

Ready: 2021 - 2030

2019 Arbois Trousseau Singulier, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

Red | Still

This wine is a labour of love. The Trousseau bunches are hand destemmed before undergoing carbonic maceration for three weeks, followed by a further two weeks maceration with gentle plunging. The wine has a beautiful aroma of rhubarb and raspberries, with a pure, red berry thread of acidity weaving through the palate. Light, but firm, this is a fresh and energetic example of Jurassic reds.

Ready: 2021 - 2026

2018 Arbois Chardonnay Patchwork, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

White | Still

As the name suggests, this is made up of a patchwork of terroirs across the domaine, and produces a benchmark Jura Chardonnay. It is the perfect introduction to the Chardonnay range here, which is a tour de force of single site expression. The average age of vines is around 50 years, which is fairly senior for an ‘entry’ wine. The long fermentation in barrel (10% new) has produced complex layers of flavours, with curry, fenugreek and saline freshness, with a silky texture. There is that classica nutty Jura reduction on the finish. Some attractive fruitiness on the palate means it will drink well from early on.

Ready: 2021 - 2027

2014 Arbois Vin Jaune En Spois, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

62cl Bottle White | Still

This vin jaune always has a deeper fruit expression than the others. It is quivering with energy, and salty intensity on the length. Wonderful.

Young: 2022 - 2040

2014 Château Chalon Vin Jaune, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

62cl Bottle White | Still

Château-Chalons are some of the most age-worthy and unique wines in the world. The Lias clay and limestone soils of the appellation, that clings to the steep slopes that rise up to the eponymous fortified hilltop village produce a complexity and intensity of fruit in the Savagnin grown here. The biological ageing - much like that found in Sherry - where the barrels are left to slowly evaporate over time allowing a layer of flor (wild yeast) to form on top of the wine, makes for some of the most complex flavour profiles in the wine world. Incredibly intense, but also so pure and light on its feet. One of the finest examples of its type.

Young: 2022 - 2046

2014 Arbois Vin Jaune Vasée, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

62cl Bottle White | Still

Stéphane Tissot is at his best when making vins jaunes. This single vineyard example comes from a site with a mixture of Lias and Trias soils. Its smoky aroma recals whilsky, and its nutty, zappy, dry palate is just crying out to accompany some 24 month aged Comté.

Young: 2022 - 2040

2018 Arbois Chardonnay Les Bruyères, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

White | Still

This is a south-facing site with Trias clay soil. It often displays the most warmth of Stéphane's single-vineyard Chardonnays, and in 2018 it has the power and silky persistence of the vintage on full display. Smoky, spicy, nutty, energetic, and perfectly weighted.

Young: 2022 - 2032

2019 Arbois Rouge DD Sans Soufre, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

Red | Still

This cuvée is an homage to Stéphane's father, André (dédé/DD) who began making this wine. It is a blend of Pinot Noir, Trousseau and Poulsard which is made in a "glouglou" style without sulphur for easy drinking. Its long, gentle fermentation and ageing in hundred-year-old foudres preserve the natural freshness of the varieties. It is bottled with a little more CO2 than most wines to compensate for the lack of added sulphur dioxide. This provides a prickle of freshness, and a quick carafing might be advised. This quintessentially Jurassic red is wonderful for early, easy drinking.

Ready: 2021 - 2024

2014 Arbois Vin de Paille, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

Half Sweet | White | Still

No Drink Dates Available

2013 Château Chalon Vin Jaune, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

62cl Bottle White | Still

Château-Chalons are some of the most age-worthy and unique wines in the world. The Lias clay and limestone soils of the appellation, that clings to the steep slopes that rise up to the eponymous fortified hilltop village produce a complexity and intensity of fruit in the Savagnin grown here. The biological ageing - much like that found in Sherry - where the barrels are left to slowly evaporate over time allowing a layer of flor (wild yeast) to form on top of the wine, makes for some of the most complex flavour profiles in the wine world. Incredibly intense, but also so pure and light on its feet. One of the finest examples of its type.

Young: 2022 - 2045

2020 Crémant de Jura Indigene, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

Dry | White | Sparkling

Indigène is a blend of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot noir and 5% each of Poulsard and Trousseau. Its name refers to the use of only natural ingredients in its winemaking: primary fermentation with indigenous yeasts, and secondary fermentation initiated by the addition of Stéphane's own liqueur de tirage, made from the domaine’s own, fermenting straw wine. It is creamy and gently sparkling, with a vinous character running through the palate. It is one of the finest examples of its type.

Ready: 2021 - 2028
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2018 Côtes de Jura Sursis, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

White | Still

This is the ‘insider’s tip’ in the Tissot range. It comes from a 0.6 hectare parcel of very old Chardonnay vines planted within the Château-Chalon appellation (usually planted with Savagnin for the world class vins jaunes produced there). "Sursis" means "reprieve" in French - Stéphane had planned to grub the vines up when he bought the plot to plant Savagnin for Vin jaune, but the limestone soils here produce such a fantastic, mineral wine that he couldn't bring himself to do it. It has a purity and freshness that sets it apart. Ageing on lees gives it a subtle richness that counterbalances its austere tension. Rare and wonderful.

Young: 2022 - 2033
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2018 Arbois Chardonnay La Mailloche, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

White | Still

These vines are planted on degraded Lias clay, which contributes to the soaring tension on the mid-palate of this wine. It has a smoky base, with citrus top notes. Tingling minerality swirls throughout. There is a magnificent density to this wine. Tuck it away for a few years to enjoy it in its full glory.

Young: 2023 - 2035
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2018 Arbois Chardonnay Les Graviers, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

White | Still

This limestone site sits on the lower part of the slope beneath the Tour de Curon. This is the most Burgundian of the single vineyard sites, with a serious savoury and citrus expression, with a plump cushion of stone fruit at its core.

Young: 2022 - 2032
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2018 Arbois Chardonnay Clos de la Tour de Curon, Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot, Jura

White | Still

This is Stéphane's "Grand Cru", and comes from a superb walled vineyard that encloses the eponymous tower, overlooking the town of Arbois. Its old vines and limestone soils produce outstanding wines every year, though in tiny quantities. There is huge intensity in the wine, that benefits from a little air when poured. As you swirl it, layers of nutmeg, Amalfi lemon, crystalised ginger, and jasmine scent emerge. It has so much drive and persistence on the palate, and it is not unreasonable to compare it with Grand Cru white Burgundy. World class.

Young: 2023 - 2038
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