Cuvée 1844 Blanc
Ostschweizerlandwein (Thurgau), Roland und Karin Lenz, 2018
A brilliant pale golden yellow with light hints of pink. Fresh fruity nose of white peach with notes of ripe red fruit. The toasty caramel elements from ageing work perfectly in this blend. On palate the wine is smooth with delicate soft finishing touches balanced by the dynamic freshness of the blend. Medium concentration but with a nice long finish, this wine offers a lot of pleasure.
Wine description with logo
Wine description whitout logo
|Origin:||Switzerland / Ostschweiz / Thurgau|
|Grape variety:||Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot noir, Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Souvignier Gris|
|Maturity:||1 to 4 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Drinking suggestion:||Baked egli fillets with tartare sauce, Fish terrine, Spicy hard cheese|
|Vinification:||fermentation in wooden barrel, pressed carefully and immediately, biological acid degradation in barrel|
|Harvest:||hand-picking, strict selection|
|Maturation:||in used barriques, on the yeast, bâtonnage|
|Maturation duration:||6 months|
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.
Eastern Switzerland: an intriguing puzzle
Eastern Switzerland has long been positioned on the northern rim of the climate zone where the cultivation of popular Swiss varieties is possible. Due to a warming climate, the vineyards of Aargau, Zurich, Schaffhausen, Thurgau and Graubünden are now in the zone where varieties such as Müller-Thurgau or Pinot Noir succeed excellently. But even long-established, almost-forgotten varieties such as Elbling, Räuschling and Completer are experiencing a renaissance.
Thurgau: a small wine canton shows contour
Although Thurgau is a smaller wine-growing canton, with a cultivation area of just 260 hectares, six different growing zones can be differentiated here. The heart of viticulture in Thurgau is the Thur valley, with its two prestigious sites, Ottenberg at Weinfelden, and Iselisberg near the canton's capital, Frauenfeld. The reference variety is very clearly Pinot Noir, from which a series of premium wines is produced today. But red and white specialties are also on the rise. And the long-spurned Müller-Thurgau variety is experiencing a renaissance.
Roland und Karin Lenz
When people think of Thurgau, the first thing that comes to mind is apple cider. So much so, that locals joking refer to it as “Mostindien”, a humorous portmanteau of “Most” (apple cider) and “Ostindien” (East India). But of course, apples aren’t the only fruit to grow in this beautiful region. On a beautiful Sunday morning, put on your hiking boots and head out to Kartause Ittigen. The estate is well worth a visit and you can treat yourself to a hot cup of coffee before you leave. From there, follow the hiking trail to Ossingen through the woods and past the magnificent Iselisberg vineyards with their perfect southward orientation. You’ll be rewarded with a magnificent view and a wonderful wine tasting, for example at Karin and Roland Lenz’s famous wine estate.
While he was still studying œnology, Roland Lenz had the opportunity to take over 8 hectares on the Iselisberg. He was committed to ecological principles from the very beginning and so it was clear to him that he would cultivate the vineyards organically. However, his first attempt failed due to a lack of experience with the climatic and soil conditions. A few years passed before he tried again and ultimately succeeded. Today, joined by his wife Karin and a motivated team, he cultivates around 21 hectares according to the Bio Suisse Bud guidelines for organic farming (certified since 2011), which are considerably stricter than the Swiss or EU guidelines. Only 17 hectares are planted with vines, four have been given back to nature to enhance biodiversity.
From Austria to the world
With the Grüner Veltliner, the Austrians have conquered the world. In New York bars today, people order "a glass of Gruner" as nonchalantly as if they have never drunk anything else. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with the northern Italian region of Valtellina (Veltlin in German). It is a natural cross between Traminer and a grape Methuselah with a unique DNA profile, found in Sankt Georgen in the Leitha Mountains. As far as is known, this is the only stock of its kind. Grüner Veltliner demonstrates exceptional versatility. It yields fresh, lively whites with the typical “pfefferl” – a spicy, piquant note – as well as dense, mineral top wines. Sparkling and sweet wines are also pressed from them. In total, it occupies almost two-thirds of Austrian vineyards. It achieves its best along the Danube, around the Kamp Valley, in Kremstal or in the Wachau.
The Sauvignon blanc can be recognized with your eyes closed. Its typical bouquet is marked by green notes: freshly cut grass, tomato bunches, gooseberry. Citrus fruits, cassis and flint join into the mix. In warmer latitudes it also shows exotic aromas, such as passion fruit. Its acidity is decidedly lively. In all likelihood, it comes from the Loire Valley, where it is vinified in Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre in its purest form: varietally, and without timber. In the 18th century, it found its way to Bordeaux. Ambitious producers assemble it there with Sémillon into substantial whites, which are aged in oak barrels. The Sauvignon blanc has been a sensational success in the past 20 years in New Zealand. With its refreshing sweet-and-sour style, winemakers from down under have conquered the world. The rich Sauvignons from Styria and crisp examples of South Tyrol and Friuli are worth mentioning as well. It pairs with anything from the sea. Or do it like they do on the Loire, and enjoy it with goat cheese.
Blueprint of the terroir
No other variety expresses its terroir as precisely as Pinot noir. It is a sensitive, fragile grape. But when it succeeds, it gives the world some of its very greatest wine plants. It especially excels in Burgundy, where it has been cultivated for at least 700 years. Even in the middle ages, it was considered so precious that it was kept separate from other grapes so as to not diminish its value. The finest examples are delicate and fragrant with aromas of cherries and red berries. With maturity, notes of forest floor, leather and truffles enter as well. An irresistible fruity sweetness still shines through, even after several decades. The Pinot noir does well in cool locations: in Switzerland and in Germany, where it is known as Blauburgunder and Spätburgunder respectively; in Alsace and in South Tyrol, in Oregon, New Zealand and Tasmania. Not least, it yields fantastic champagnes. It is a wonderful culinary companion. With its soft tannins and charming bouquet, it meshes with everything, from Güggeli and cheeses to fried fish.
Small area, great variety
The Chenin blanc now grows on just one percent of French vineyards. But its wines are immensely diverse. The homeland of this grape is the Loire Valley. There it muscles into the light-footed frothers of Saumur and Vouvray. The vintners of Bonnezeaux and Quarts-de-Chaume process them into beguilingly sweet wines. And in Savennières it yields dry whites with mineral cores and great aging potential. They smell of apple, honey and fresh straw, and show great body and a stimulating acidity. The world's largest area of Chenin blanc is in South Africa, where it landed in the mid-17th century with Dutch traders. The most exciting wines result from old vines drawn from traditional bush forms.