Wine matured at bottom of Lac Léman raised and tasted

Savoie winemaker Pascal Perceval (right) celebrates the safe resurfacing of his wine and tastes its flavours

More than 2,000 bottles and barrels of Savoie wine that were submerged at the bottom of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) one year ago, to accelerate their aging process, have been brought to the surface and tasted.

The wine - using Mondeuse grapes for the red, and Chignin-Bergeron for the white - is described as having aged the equivalent of four years in just 12 months, due to the unusual “subaquatic cellar” conditions, over 30 metres down.

Savoie winemaker, Pascal Perceval, whose wine was submerged, said: “The objective is that [the wine] is stirred and brewed as much as possible, so that it takes on four years of aging in just one year, [but] with very young aromas.”

Matured in this way, “vin du fond (wine of the deep)” offers distinct flavours, quite different to those it would have had been aged in a usual wine cellar.

This was not a one-off experiment either; soon, over 4,000 bottles of 2017 vintage will be sent to the depths, as demand for vin du fond is growing across Europe, the USA and Asia.

The Savoie sommelier tastes the vin du fond (France Info / France 3 / screenshot)

Loïc Chavasse-Frette, sommelier at luxury Haute-Savoie hotel l’Hôtel Royal, who tasted the wine after it was brought to the surface (pictured, above), said: “It stays very fresh and fruity. You can really taste the spirit of the Mondeuse grape, as if it had matured [for many years] in a normal cellar. I knew that Lac Léman was full of treasures, but this, for a sommelier - it’s just pleasure and happiness.”

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