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Beltramo's Wines & Spirits
1540 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Monday-Friday: 10:00am-7:30pm
Saturday: 9:30am-7:30pm
Sunday: 10:00am-6:30pm

(650) 325-2806
(888) 710-WINE(9463)
Fax (650) 323-8450

2011 Rene et Beatrice Bernard Le Cellier du Palais - Vin de Savoie Apremont Vieilles Vignes (750ml)

Apremont lies on the other side of the valley facing Chignin, tucked within the foothills of Mount Granier. As one looks at the looming stone mass above its vineyards, a crescent-shaped curve distinguishes the line of the rock, as if a piece had been taken away. In fact, during the night of November 24, 1248, this part of Mount Granier collapsed, and the ensuing landslide buried the village St. Andr's, steamrolling everything in its path for several miles before stopping on the outskirts of Myans. The catastrophe may have been caused by water pressure under the cliff; monks wrote that steam surrounded the area after the fall, most probably from hot water. No matter what the cause, hundreds of inhabitants and animals were lost beneath the rubble, and the mountain structure was forever altered.

The crus Apremont and Abymes have their vines planted on this rubble from the mountain. A small river divides the two crus whose wines are quite similar. The cru Apremont or, bitter mountain, has its vines planted on slightly higher soil, with primary glacial deposits blended with limestone rubble. Apremont perhaps exhibits a more mineralled character than Abymes, with a flinty nuance weaving its way through the fruit.

The main grape for both crus is Jacquère, the major grape used in the town several miles across the valley, Chignin. While Chignin's vineyards face South and Southwest, Apremont's vineyards face South and Southeast, giving them a little bit less of the afternoon sunlight. One could generalize that the wines of Apremont have a touch more acidity than the wines of Chignin.

The property surrounding Le Cellier du Palais has been in the Bernard family since 1700. Bottling at the domaine started two generations ago; Rene took over for his father in 1974, and his daughter, Béatrice, has now taken over the vinification.

Their small vineyard is scattered over just 7 hectares (17 acres). Some of these have a subsoil very rich in chalk, others with decomposed glacial deposits. The Bernards have three grapes planted, Jacquère, Altesee and Chardonnay. Believe it or not, this grape became widely planted in the 1960's, although not much of it remains. Charles Neal Importer

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