Cuvée 1844 Chenin Blanc
Ostschweizerlandwein (Thurgau), Roland und Karin Lenz, 2018
The Chenin Blanc grape is unquestionably one of the most diverse and underrated white wine varieties in the world of viniculture. Originally native to the Loire Valley in France, it has found a new home in the sunshine terrace of the Thurgau region, where superb white wines are produced from it. This pure Chenin Blanc variety offers a vast range of aromas: hawthorn and orange blossoms, star fruit, apple peel, cut grass, haystack and damp stone. It nestles harmoniously, almost creamy and yet with an exciting grip on the palate, while revealing itself as full-bodied, lively and juicy! An exciting, fruity-sweet bouquet of aromas including lemon grass, nectarine, candied ginger and dried apricot. Enjoy it to trout meunière, spicy finger food or green asparagus.
|Origin:||Schweiz / Ostschweiz / Thurgau|
|Grape variety:||Chenin Blanc|
|Ripening potential:||1 to 4 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Baked egli fillets with tartare sauce, Fish terrine, Spicy hard cheese, Asparagus specialities|
|Maturation:||partly in steel tank, partly in wooden barrel/foudre|
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
In 1994, while Roland Lenz was still studying oenology, he and his wife Karin were able to acquire eight hectares of vines on the Iselisberg. It was a unique opportunity that they seized, even though they were toying with the idea of setting up their own business abroad, far from Switzerland. They actually did so later, but that's another story…
It is only in the last two decades that the Canton of Thurgau has really come to the attention of wine lovers as a wine-growing area. Its apple orchards and the apple juice (must) pressed from the picked fruit have always been popular, inevitably earning the canton its nickname of «Must India». Viticulture, however, has existed in this region for centuries.
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.