Here's a little backstory on Jean-Yves Péron (or JYP as we've nicknamed him in our heads) before we jump into the wine. After studying oenology in Bordeaux, JYP spent time working with legends Thierry Allemand in Cornas and Bruno Schuller in Alsace, before returning home to the alpine region of the Savoie.
These wines are as natural as they come, equal parts expressive and elusive and just loaded with curious and captivating appeal. Carbonic maceration, skin contact and a touch of oxidative handling are commonplace in these wines. All of which are whole-bunch fermented by native yeast, righteously acidic and rather sensual in character. They're also some of our dear Mike Bennie's favourites so he put together a few words to tell you all why...
"Some of the most anticipated and enjoyed releases for me each year come from the humble hands of this Savoie-born-and-bred winemaker. Visiting Péron is a wonderful experience. Vineyards are radiant and teeming with life. His old cellar a cornucopia of cuvees; jewels that range from more classic interpretations of local grape varieties to the trademark, more expressive styles from which he garnered global fame. Orange wines have been formative in his learning and are reflected in several of the cuvees produced, and, of course, sleek red wines from mondeuse underpin his non-white grape wine range.
Péron adheres to biodynamic farming and associated practices in the winery, but eschews certification for its rigidity and costs. His vineyards are set on slopes in the cooler upper reaches of alpine country of Savoie with some of the plots over 100 years old. His family estate is planted to small parcels of jacquere, altesse, mondeuse and roussanne, though since 2005 he has resurrected the historical varieties of persan and white altesse. Whites typically see extended maceration skin contact while reds often are carbonic macerated, popping fruit character and bringing great freshness and brightness to the resulting wines.
Slow winemaking approach, incredible attention and labour in vineyards, unique sites that breath cool air, alpine herbs and botanicals, forest fringes and diverse soil profile provide tremendous personality in these wines.
Wines of texture and assertive presence in glass, reds of delicacy, high refreshment-factor and vivacity. Damn, I see those bright coloured labels and want to rip into these. I am increasingly drawn to wines from alpine wine regions – purity and freshness, tension and length, leaner more detailed expressions emerge and have cemented themselves as fundamental in my drinking regime. I like wine when tannin and freshness meet and celebrate. Savoie is fertile ground for such wines, with Péron at the apex alongside Belluard, Berlioz, Genoux and Domaine des Ardoisieres (there are more, but these producers come immediately to mind!)."