Boost of freshness in Savoy wines with Maxime Dancoine
Maxime was not born among the Savoy vineyards but in the North of France, in Maubeuge. Never far from this world because passionate about wine, it was in 2015 that he came to settle in the Maurienne valley. What a (good) choice!
The L'Aitonnement estate offers wines of great precision, with great depth and energy. High class wines. Maxime is clearly one of the gifted and talented winegrowers of the Savoyard and French vineyards!
The story of Maxime Dancoine
Originally from the North, Maxime was not really destined to land in Savoy to make his own wine. Fascinated despite everything by this world of wine, he wanders around it for many years, between studies, training, all in different regions of France and Switzerland. Then he will then be guided to the mountains of the Maurienne Valley in Aiton.
Before making his own wines, Maxime Dancoine was an oenologist in Savoy for many years but also associated with Vins d'Envie with Guillaume Lavie. Then it was in 2015 that he landed in the vineyard of Aiton, a very promising vineyard, and very famous at the time for the cultivation of Mondeuse.
Today, the L'Aitonnement estate cultivates 2.5 hectares of vines, on steep slopes, with an ideal exposure. The vineyard is worked by hand, every day in front of a breathtaking view of the Arc Valley.
Maxime Dancoine has done a colossal job since his installation. A first vintage which sees the light of day in 2016, a reward in 2021 thanks to the Guide des Meilleurs Vins de France which decrees the “ Coup de Coeur Savoyard ”, but also “ Grand Vigneron of tomorrow ” by the Revue du Vin de France. Farewell to prejudices about Savoy wines, Maxime Dancoine is undoubtedly one of the young winegrowers who want to shake up the codes and sharp opinions on the region's grape varieties.
Maxime does not stop at his vineyard and therefore shares his talent with Guillaume Lavie. Together, they then launched a commercial production, with Des Vins d'Envie, which highlights the soil of Bugey, Savoy and elsewhere in France. Their idea? Always add a Savoy touch to blends! The vines on which Guillaume and Maxime work, because these do not belong to them, are also conducted in organic farming (minimum) and biodynamic.
L'Aitonnement estate vineyard
Located in Aiton, Maxime Dancoine sees the Lauzière, the Belledonnes chain and the Combe de Savoie every day. The Aiton vineyard, which is at least 300 years old, has extraordinary qualities for the cultivation of Mondeuse and other endemic Savoy grape varieties.
The Aiton vineyard is heavily parceled out due to the abandonment of cultivation at the time. The winegrowers are no longer present, the food crop also disappears, and the cultivation techniques are difficult, the slopes are steep (70%), the use of machines is almost impossible. A vineyard that has therefore not regenerated over time. But this is also what gives it unique features.
Maxime Dancoine, a committed winegrower, naturally saw himself taking the path of biodynamics. Obviously for this enthusiast who respects his environment and listens to his land. He then uses biodynamics in his vineyard and obtains organic certification in 2017. He wants to promote biodiversity between his vines and his vineyard pays him back.
It benefits from a rather particular exposure, sunny from morning to evening, a controlled wind thanks to the valley which limits diseases.
The soil is more or less thick depending on the slope, and is composed of gray, stony limestone (in the form of shales). The roots of these vines will also seek their resources in a few water sources that intersect in places.
The intervention of machines in the vineyards is non-existent. Maxime Dancoine cultivates different grape varieties at the L'Aitonnement estate, Savoy grape varieties of course, but endemic grape varieties that he replants little by little. It's a breath of fresh air for the Savoy vineyard, a generation to be taken seriously. Maxime therefore works the Jacquère, the Altesse and the black Mondeuse. But for him, these grape varieties do not represent the totality of the “heritage capital of local grape varieties”. This is why Maxime Dancoine started planting Jourbertin noir, white Maurienne, Mondeuse Grise and Blanche. At the same time, he also acquired plots of Persan, Douce Noire and Etraire de la D'hui (an old variety of Grésivaudan) for the Aitonnement estate.
Maxime puts his land and his vines first, he pampers them as well as they give him back. And it is a very beautiful harmony!
Wines from the L'Aitonnement estate
Maxime Dancoine pays as much attention to his vinification as to his vines. A clean vine is a healthy grape and it is a wine that reflects the soil. At the L'Aitonnement estate, vinification is carried out without sulfur. There is an addition of SO2 either at the filtration if there is, (this is not systematic) or at the bottling. Two stages which are obviously carried out according to the lunar calendar.
The L'Aitonnement estate therefore offers a wide range of Savoy wines. First of all, there is the Big Bang 2020 bottle, a white wine that combines Jacquère and Altesse. A beautiful harmony between these two white grape varieties, the delicacy of the Jacquères and the precision of the Altesse. We appreciate its liveliness, its complexity. This wine was aged in barrels for two months.
Another superb white signed L'Aitonnement estate with the Vesta 2020 bottle. This 100% Roussanne grown on the lands of Chignin-Bergeron is defined by the aromatic Roussanne and the energy provided by Maxime, an energy that is felt in all his wines.
100% Jacquère for the Genesis 2020 bottle. Savoy white wine fair, fresh, delicate, a pleasure wine as we like but not only! This bottle comes from the three plots of Les Plantets (80 years old). It was aged in barrels for 8 months (light sulfiting before bottling).
Large format for the Solar 2019 bottle, available in magnum only. A bottle with incredible exposure that offers 100% dazzling Altesse, a sparkling mineral side. It will look for its resources in a few centimeters of depth (15 cm), on a ground at the surface of rock. The aging also lasted 8 months in barrels.
Maxime Dancoine demonstrates his talent in his red wine Nebula, a blend of Douce Noire and Mondeuse Noire. A perfect alliance between these two grape varieties: there is finesse, fruit, spice, and character, always with this particularity of ageing, a few months in barrels for the Mondeuse.
As you know, at www.epi-curieux.com we love Savoy, but the L'Aitonnement estate surprises us each time with the precision and finesse of its wines. An estate to follow and discover for lovers of Savoyard wines (and elsewhere)!