Andrew Guard

2016 Arbin Mondeuse 'Prestige', Les Fils de Charles Trosset

This rare spicy red from the mountain terroir of Arbin shows bright acidity and a peppery freshness that perfectly balances the abundant layers of blackberry, cherry, strawberry fruit with hints of lavender and earth. A true mountain wine with mountain freshness and personality. It's virile and beautiful all at once.

The most highly regarded of all Savoie reds is the Mondeuse from Arbin and the Trosset brothers produce the finest Arbin Mondeuse, from just 4 hectares of impeccably tended vines on the steep, imposing slopes behind their home.

Louis and Joseph Trosset took over their fathers estate in 2000 on his passing. Joseph in the vines and Louis in the cellar, which he manages with his other career, as a lecturer of plant biology at the University of Savoie.

They farm their 13 parcels by hand which would be difficult as all the vines are trained low 'en gobelet' (bush vines). Their viticulture is not certified organic but they don't use any chemicals and encourage soil activity, Louis thinks that the earthworms that pass two or three times through his soil each year do a great job!

In the cellar the grapes are fermented using natural yeasts 'vendage entier' (whole bunch) each parcel fermented separately in tank over about 10 days with daily 'remontage', before being pressed using an old basket press. The wines then mature, also only in tank, until they are carefully blended and bottled. 

Louis has considerable intellect and conviction; he has a sharp wit and breaks his intensity with an occasional smile. He reminds me very much of Thierry Allemand in that way, and with the same diligence produces incredible wine.