Notes from Vine Trail:
"After leaving university where he qualified as an agricultural engineer, Philippe Heritier initially worked for Crédit Agricole (that specialises in loans to farmers) and through this role visited many growers, including Michel Grisard, whose biodynamic approach was an inspiration. He gave up his bank job in 2006 and launched his career as a vigneron charting a very independent path from the outset.
We don’t have many growers as grounded as Philippe, and yet he looked to the ancient Greeks for design inspiration. Philippe was blown away by the beauty of the Epidaurus theatre on a trip to the Peloponnese, and leaning on the ancient Greek rules of the golden ratio (apparently barrels were originally designed using the same rule), he designed a hexagonal cave to provide a harmonious environment for vinification and élevage.
He searched out brilliant terroirs around the Frangy cru (north-west of Annecy), planting most of his vineyards (using massal clippings from Michel Grisard and Charles Trosset), and focusing on what he regards as the best two varieties in the region. Working at high altitudes in the Haute-Savoie significantly north of almost all the other Savoie vignerons, and pruning short and working with very low yields, he makes wines that are denser and more complex than the Savoie norm.
For 'Quintessence' the yields here are just 25hh from 2 ha of vines planted in glacial debris in 1992. Destalked 90% to avoid astringency, it is aged in older barrels before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Very floral on the nose (like Côte-Rôtie) it has clearly defined spicy black fruits, is supple on the palate and the tannins are well judged."