2012 Arbin Mondeuse, La Belle Romaine, Château de Mérande, Savoie, France (about £16.40, Vine Trail, 0117-921 1770; Scarlet Wines, 01736-753696; Androuet, 020-7375 3168).
The beautiful Savoie region of France is more often on my radar from a cheese and skiing point of view than for its wines. Granted, a number of worthy, rustic, ‘French country-style’ wines are made, but they often lack style and panache. This week I have two arresting releases for you, which will hopefully engage you with this romantic region like never before.
I have never drunk a mondeuse (a local red grape) that I loved until La Belle Romaine hit my glass – this is an aromatically gripping red with stem and leaf notes freshening the glistening plum-soaked core. It is the proud possessor of a pure palate and a very long finish, too. It is biodynamically farmed, which gives the wine an intrinsic link with its soil and surroundings, heightening its characteristics to hitherto unknown levels of purity. Very little oak gets in the way, too.
Also, track down elegant, silky 2012 Chignin, Le Jaja, Berlioz (£16.95, same merchants). This is my favourite dry white Savoie wine of all time. Who’d a thought it? You wait all of your life and two life-changing Savoie wines come along in the same week!
• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (www.matthewjukes.com).