While we up in Marquette, we tried to make the most of it, even to a wine bar. I wish we had more wine bars back home. It is fun to go to places that are not cookie-cutter chains that blur one’s memory of one city with another. “Given my druthers” I would prefer the quirkiness and charm of a community instead of a McDonalds; otherwise, why bother going some place new? That is even true with retail establishments, I have always enjoyed going into a real store and hopefully encounter real professionals and hopefully not little “Mr. Dress-ups” by virtue of family or marriage, but people that really have heart in the business.
We found this wine bar that had both indoor and outdoor sitting and it was pure enjoyment. Zephyr Wine Bar and Tap Room is actually owned by a wine retail establishment in Marquette and now they also have a weekend restaurant called the Cellar Restaurant that offers a four-course, prix fixe menu that changes weekly to feature seasonal foods and “highlight whatever our chefs are excited about.” They offer wine pairings by their in-house sommeliers or from the extensive wine list that we encountered when we sat down to enjoy the ambience of the wine bar.
We decided to enjoy Domaine Lupin Roussette de Savoie Frangy 2018, because during the lost year of 2020 we discovered a bottle of from this region that had been lost or misplaced and by the time we discovered it, it had passed its prime and only the sink could enjoy it. Bruno Lupin is considered by some to be the “rockstar” of Savoie. His grandfather started the business, and Bruno after his studies made a side trip and became the winemaker for a large cooperative, but eventually he decided to return home and go for quality over quantity. Frangy is one of four named Crus in Savoie and considered the best of the four. The wines from Frangy are made using the Roussette grape or Altesse, as opposed to the Jacquere grape used in the other three, and those wines are considered more quaffable. While most of Savoie has limestone soil, Frangy is distinct, because it is more remote and has a mixture of glacial molasse with a covering of limestone and clay. Roussette or Altesse is now considered an indigenous grape of the region and is also known as Anet, Fusette, Prin Blanc and Marestel. Some of the vines are seventy years in age, grown organically with a hands-off with minimal intervention outlook. The crops are hand-harvested and only indigenous yeasts are used. After initial fermentation, only a partial Malolactic fermentation is allowed. A pretty golden color the wine offers notes of florals and almonds. On the palate, a unique blend of pear, honey, bergamot and almonds with a good mixture of acidity and a wonderful finish of terroir. A very distinctive and interesting wine that is not often seen.