Michel Vallet works in the small Alpine town of Sarre in the Valle
d’Aosta region. The population of 4,878 people enjoy the sunniest part
of this Alpine valley, as it climbs toward Mont Blanc. The icy air and
warm sun give perfect tans to vintage skiers and a bevy of rare native
grapes (Fumin, Petit Arvine, Mayolet, and –even rarer — Cornalin and
Vuillermin). Michel started in 1998 to recover three ancient stone
terraced vineyards that were abandoned during Italy’s ‘boom economico’
of the 1960s. He is slowly expanding the terraced areas to accommodate
more vineyards. The wines are not traditional in the rustic sense, nor
are they modern in the highly-polished sense. What they do have is an
exceptionally precise and tightly composed architecture of fruits,
minerals, and bitter components that neither leap out of the glass nor
remain stubbornly shy. Hand harvested, native yeast, minimal to no
intervention in the cellar.
This wine has become a favorite among our customers at Enoteca Vino Nostro. This wine brings tastes reminiscent of Bordeaux flavors with elegant dark berries and cherries. Its color is a distinctive deep ruby-red, almost garnet, and displays aromas of jam, tobacco and even vanilla where the wines have been barrel aged. Cherry and blueberry flavors can be detected on the palate, as well as some sweet spice. The wines tend to be rather delicate, with a hint of tartness on the finish. The Mayolet is great with a wide range of meats and poultry, pastas with meat sauces, and strong and mature cheeses.