Cornalin Tradition 2020
AOC Wallis, Bonvin, 750 ml
A rugged chap, somewhat churlish, with rough edges and corners. If you give it time to mature, the tannins will become more refined and it will show its Valaisian charm. Spices such as white pepper, juniper berries, clove and laurel dominate its nose. Here, too, decanting is advised to fully develop the fruity components.
|Origin:||Switzerland / Wallis|
|Ripening potential:||2 to 6 years|
|Serving temperature:||16 to 18 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Cold fish dish, dried meat, Spiced grillades, Bistecca fiorentina, T-Bone steak, Wild fowl, Cheese board, Spicy hard cheese|
|Vinification:||fully destemmed, short must fermentation, fermentation in steel tank, soft pressing|
|Maturation:||partly in wooden barrel/foudre, short cultivation|
|Maturation duration:||8 months|
High above Sion, on the Clos du Château, is the heart of the oldest wine trading house in Valais – today's winery Charles Bonvin SA. The view sweeps over the wide Rhone valley, meets the two castle hills of Tourbillon and Valère and grazes on the magnificent Valais vine landscape with its countless terraces.
In the mid-19th century, Valais was a poor area. The valley was largely marshland. The people, mostly farmers, mainly subsisted from agriculture and the dairy industry. The wineries were set up where nothing else could be grown. The vineyard was smaller than the one in Zurich and the yield was mostly for self-consumption. The Valais wine couldn't leave its borders, although it had been cultivated since Roman times.
A mouthful of wine
The Cornalin is the victim of confusion. It is one of the oldest specialities of Valais. Traditionally, it was known there under the name Rouge du Pays, or “country red”. But, as there was already a variety bearing that name in the Aosta Valley, it was officially rechristened Cornalin. It was thought that this referred to the same grapes. Yet genetic analysis showed that the two, while related, are not identical. There are thus two completely different grapes with the name Cornalin. The Valais Cornalin – or the Rouge du Pays – is a merry, everyday wine. It tastes of black cherry, raspberry and violets and fills the palate with plenty of velvety tannins. A slightly spicy note, as of cinnamon or cloves, is typical. It tastes great with mature Valais cheese and ham from a mountain pig!
Valais: Alpine wines with class
More than 20 varieties of grapes can yield wines in Valais that are full of character. A large number of them grow on spectacular, steep slopes. Sealed off by mighty chains of mountains, old plantings like Petite Arvine, Amigne and Cornalin have survived in Valais, and today they are highly sought-after by wine enthusiasts. The highest vineyards in Europe are also found in Valais: the Savignin vines (known here as “Heida”), rooted in the mountain community of Visperterminen.
Switzerland – A small country with enormous diversity
Switzerland is famous for its banks, watches, and cheese, but not necessarily for its wine. The Swiss didn't invent wine, but they have been extremely open and curious to it. Wine culture arrived in what is now modern Switzerland via several routes: from Marseilles to Lake Geneva and the Lower Valais region; from the Aosta Valley through the Great St. Bernard Pass to the rest of Valais; from the Rhone through Burgundy, across the Jura Mountains to Lake Constance; and from Lombardy to Ticino, and then on to Grisons.