Royal Seyssel, modern version, is a wine of redemption, a product of the possibilities of a wine economy that values quality and authenticity. Royal Seyssel, original version, was established in 1901 in the village of Seyssel high up in the foothills of Savoie, one of the smallest AOCs in France. For many years, the Clerc and Varichon families made what was widely regarded as the best of the sparkling Seyssels (hence “Royal”), enjoyed by Alpine tourists who fed a vigorous export trade in this unique sparkler. In the 1990s, however, the concern was bought by a large Burgundian négociant and its quality quickly declined, leading to the shutdown of production in 2007. Gérard and Catherine Lambert, dismayed by the decline of a great wine, teamed up with Olivier Varichon, great-grandson of the founder, determined to return Royal Seyssel to its former greatness. Made from the local grapes Altesse (which means, fittingly, “altitude”) and Molette grown in steep loess soils, it is made in the time-consuming méthode traditionnelle used with such success in Champagne. Rich and gold in the glass, it is fermented slowly to achieve concentration. Rich in the mouth as well, with yellow apple and pear fruit, the characteristic oxidative hazelnut, dried apple, and sandstone of Savoyard whites, it is concentrated, fresh, and lively. Aged three years in bottle, it has come together very well.
Pairing: Have it with a cheese fondue, navratan korma, or chicken in a cream sauce.
TYPE: Sparkling White
VARIETY: 50% ALTESSE, 50% MOLETTE
REGION: Seyssel, Savoie, FRANCE