The vineyards of the Enfer d’Arvier appellation are situated in an amphitheater-shaped site on steep slopes in a high-altitude valley, which receives ample sun. The shape of this “bowl” of vineyards effectively concentrates the heat of the sun, thus giving birth to the “hell of Arvier” moniker. Danilo Thomain is the only independent vigneron working this tiny appellation only five hectares in size. The Thomain family works one hectare of vineyards here in the shadow of Mont Blanc.
An essay in extremes, Danilo’s Enfer d’Arvier is both bracing in its freshness and intense in its concentration. Rapier-like acidity pulls firmly at the reins of muscular, thickly luscious fruit gained from the blistering heat these perfectly angled vineyards absorb under full sun, and the wine is indeed never deficient in ripeness.
As a recently consumed bottle from 2008 attested, this wine can age, and age beautifully.