Altesse Roussette de Bugey Montagnieu
100% Altesse. The village of Montagnieu lends its name to the best-known local cru, which features local white variety Altesse, known locally as Roussette and thought to be a relative of the Hungarian variety Furmint. Local parlance can get confusing: the appellation “Roussette de Bugey” can also contain Chardonnay, so Peillot adds “Altesse” on the label of his still white wine to emphasize its pure Altesse make-up. His vines are on Jurassic limestone and clay soils on hillsides at 300-500m altitude. They average about 30 years old, including one hectare of 60-year-old vines and some others up to 100 years old, and are hand harvested. Fermentation with natural yeasts (as with all of Peillot's wine) aging take place in steel and enamelled cement tanks; no wood is used at all for any of Peillot's wines at this point. Bottling of the Altesse generally takes place in March after the vintage. Franck feels that Altesse, naturally on the more neutral side aromatically but high in acidity, is a perfect and elegant vehicle for terroir expression—much more so than the ubiquitous Chardonnay—if and when its natural high ripeness and pulpy fleshiness are reined in.