Magnin Chignin Bergeron 2014

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Tasting Notes

Aromas of baked Golden Delicious apple, walnut, wool, lanolin, and an Alpine meadow. Flavors are round and developed, showing the age character: orange zest, crushed rocks, nut skin, beeswax and hay. It is complex, medium-plus in body and has a medium finish.


Savoie is an Alpine region in eastern France on the border with Switzerland. It’s famed for its beautiful hiking spots in summer and great skiing in winter, attracting significant tourism. The terrain is quite mountainous, so vineyards are small and scattered. Vineyard work is labor-intensive and manual. Vines grow on slopes at 840’ to 1804’ on a variety of soils, planted with south and southeastern exposure. The climate is continental with some Mediterranean influence, but vineyards are warmer than one would expect due to the moderating effects of rivers and lakes. Production is small, about 0.5% of France’s total; 70%  of wine made in Savoie is white. Chignin is a named cru in Savoy near Chambéry (famed for its vermouth).  Most of its white wine is made from the Jacquère grape, but there is a separate cru, Chignin Bergeron, made from the Roussanne variety, associated with the northern Rhône valley. Roussanne is a mid to late ripening variety that grows well on poor, stony, calcareous-clay soils. It has low wind resistance so must be planted in protected sites. It is very susceptible to powdery mildew, botrytis bunch rot, mites, and thrips, so great care must be taken in the vineyard, but the results are worth it. Roussanne wines have good acidity, so they age gracefully, becoming more generous with time. They conjure notes of verbena tea, spring flowers, citrus, light salinity, and almond, rich and heady with pronounced body and texture.

Domaine Louis Magnin comprises about 20 acres, all farmed organically. Slopes are steep, made of a clay-limestone mix with a top layer of scree. The Chignin Bergeron comes from vines planted on about 4.5 acres in a series of steep sites. Vines average 30 years old and are both bush and wire trained. After the manual harvest, whole bunches of grapes ferment spontaneously with natural yeasts in stainless steel tanks. After a gentle pneumatic pressing, the wine goes through malolactic fermentation and ages on the fine lees in tank for 15-18 months. The wine is fined with bentonite (a clay) and lightly filtered. An extremely small amount of sulfur is added at bottling.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Chicken/Turkey, Duck, Fish-full flavored (salmon/tuna), Ham, Pork, Vegetables

France, French Alps , Chignin
Grape Varietal:
100% Roussanne
$37.50 each
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