Cuvée 1844 Viognier
Ostschweizerlandwein (Thurgau), Roland und Karin Lenz, 2017
|Producer:||Roland und Karin Lenz|
|Origin:||Switzerland / Ostschweiz / Thurgau|
The floweriness with hawthorn, wisteria and jasmine in the bouquet is remarkable. It is accompanied by fruity notes reminding of sun-ripened apricots and red apples. The wonderfully juicy acidity, combined with a fine saltiness, provides for an invigorating freshness. This charming wine has a quite plump body, is powerful and supported by a great concentration.
Wine description with logo
Wine description whitout logo
|Origin:||Switzerland / Ostschweiz / Thurgau|
|Maturity:||1 to 4 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Drinking suggestion:||Apéro riche, Fresh water fish with cream sauce, Fish terrine, Crispy roast chicken, Goat's cheese|
|Vinification:||fermentation in steel tank, pressed carefully and immediately, fermentation at low temperatures|
|Harvest:||hand-picking, strict selection|
|Maturation:||in steel tank, in partly new and used barriques/ Pièces, on the yeast, bâtonnage|
|Maturation duration:||10 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.
Saved from extinction
It’s hard to believe that the Viognier nearly became extinct 50 years ago. Today, it grows worldwide on over 10,000 hectares. The variety was first mentioned in 1781, and probably originated in Condrieu, in the northern Rhône Valley. There, and in the 3.8-hectare mini-appellation of Château-Grillet, vintners kept it on the post when the rest of the world wanted to know nothing about it. Its inventory shrank to a meagre 14 hectares. This is because it provides only low yields, and for a while there were no good seedlings. In the 1980s, interest in Viognier reawakened. It actually shows a unique profile: deep golden with good body and aromas of apricot, lime blossom, citrus fruits, honey and hazelnut. It is popular in the Languedoc region, flows into the white Côtes du Rhône and also does very well in California. The best examples fit wonderfully with poultry in cream sauce, noble fish like turbot or – why not? – lobster.