Chasselas: Pick-Me-Up Fall White!
Updated: Oct 25
Wow, I can’t lie this last week was a lot to process. It’s crazy that I have a go-to write-up following hurricanes (ugh, that’s how common they are)! And usually I write about seeking out comfort wine and comfort food. But honestly in the wake of this one and the extreme devastation in Florida it seems trite. So, let’s go with a blog I had already planned about full bodied whites for the fall…
Most folks write about white wine in the summer months and tout its abundant refreshing capabilities! While I do agree I also find myself turning to white wines in the fall – just of a different sort. Instead of bright, zippy whites to combat languorous Southern heat, I reach for broad shouldered, textured whites. Case in point, Un P’tit Coin de Paradis from Dominique Lucas. This is Chasselas from the tiny French Alpine region of Savoie. If you have not heard of Chasselas – no shame! It’s a lesser known grape most commonly found in Switzerland and here in Savoie (where it most likely originated).
Ironically, the maker, Dominique Lucas, hails not from Savoie but rather from Burgundy. He is actually the 5th generation of a Burgundian winemaking family in Pommard, but after oenology school he moved to Savoie so that he could escape the strict appellation laws in Burgundy – a definite rebel!
In Savoie he farms 10 hectares overlooking Lake Geneva (aka Lac Leman). His primary focus is on Chasselas, and he has 27 different parcels (think micro-sites) that he vinifies separately! He is certified organic (and used biodynamic practices as well). He uses very little sulfur dioxide in the cellar and uses a wide array of fermentation vessels. (As I said, he is a free spirit!)
I have only had this Chasselas from Lucas, but I have had it on several occasions – always presenting beautifully. Last week was actually the first time I took a bottle home and enjoyed it over several hours with a full meal. It has a three years of age and has begun to develop some of the nuttiness that Chasselas is known to exhibit with time.
So, of course it tasted beautifully with cheese but also with this very eclectic fall grain salad I created: Rancho Gordo cranberry beans, farro, poached shrimp, Delicata squash, and a garnish of toasted pumpkin seeds! As you might imagine, that salad proved earthy but with some bright notes from lemon juice and lemon oil, and it really worked wonderfully with the Chasselas!
This wine was a bright point last week before all hell broke loose! I highly recommend grabbing a bottle or two; it’s sure to cheer any day!
Dominique Lucas Un P'tit Coin" Chasselas 2019 $37 (suggested retail price)