Thurgau, Roland und Karin Lenz, 2020
Intense aromatic and fruity nose with subtle roasted aromas. The Sauvignon Blanc is distinctly perceptible. In the prelude fresh, tangy acidity, full-bodied on the palate with intensive fruit aromas. Beautiful finish with an aromatic aftertaste.
|Origin:||Schweiz / Ostschweiz / Thurgau|
|Grape variety:||GF 48-12, Sauvignon Blanc, Seyval blanc, Müller-Thurgau|
|Ripening potential:||1 to 2 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Apéro riche, Fresh water fish with cream sauce, Crispy roast chicken, Asparagus specialities|
|Vinification:||fermentation in wooden barrel, fermentation in steel tank, pressed carefully and immediately, fermentation at low temperatures|
|Maturation:||in steel tank, in used barriques|
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.
The strange name gives extra effort
This hybrid white grape variety owes its somewhat minimalistic title to its breeder, who simply forgot to enter a name. As a result, the name of the breeding line was used as its designation.
Its hybrid nature is clear from its resistance to fungi. Two different cultivars – the Bacchus and Villard Blanc varieties – were crossed to create a new, more resistant vine.
Its wines are generally characterized by intense, fruity aromas and a good acidity.
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.
An early ripening little fruit
This new-breed white emerged around 1920. A cross between Seibel 5656 and Rayon d'Or, it ripens early and is extremely robust, making it very suited for growth in cold and damp areas. Seyval Blanc is very popular in Northern France and Switzerland, and is also successfully cultivated in Canada and the northeastern United States. Seyval Blanc is the second most common variety in England.
This uncomplicated vine is often found in private gardens, as the berries are also suitable as table grapes.
Germany and Switzerland combine
Yes, this grape actually gets its name from a Mr Müller from Thurgau. Then active as a wine researcher in Germany, the Swiss Hermann Müller developed the flowery, peachy new variety in 1882. Unfortunately, it was not accepted into the German register of varieties, so he took the seedlings with him to Switzerland. Here they settled under the name Riesling-Silvaner. This was because Hermann Müller mistakenly thought his white creation was a cross between these grapes. His error was only discovered later: the actual parents of the Riesling-Silvaner are Riesling and the ornamental grape Madeleine royal. Meanwhile, the Germans realised what they had missed. Above all, vintners from Lake Constance would have liked to have planted the Riesling-Silvaner, but they were not allowed. Thus, in 1925, a young winemaker rowed across the lake at night, smuggling 400 seedlings across the border in a fishing boat. Thirty years later, the grape was officially named Müller-Thurgau. It is called by the exact same name in Thurgau.