Clos de Mangold Vieilles Vignes (Chasselas) 2020
AOC Valais, Domaine Cornulus, 750 ml
At Clos de Mangold, the Chasselas vines, which are over 50 years old, are almost exclusively planted on stony gypsum soil, which brings out wines of unique racy elegance. The Chasselas grapes from the oldest vines of this vineyard develop intense aromas. The nose reveals a bouquet of citrus fruits, acacia flowers, flint, pear and a "fumé" touch. On the palate the wine is juicy, creamy, powerful and with a mineral nerve. In its aroma it reminds of yellow exotic fruits, but also pears. On the tongue, a slightly chalky touch of the gypsum soil is perceptible. The finish is persistent, harmonious and fruity-concentrated.
|Origin:||Switzerland / Wallis|
|Ripening potential:||1 to 15 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Apéro riche, Fresh water fish with cream sauce, Fish terrine, Succulent chicken breast with cream sauc, Salad with vegetables, pulses, pasta|
|Harvest:||hand-picking with simultaneous grape sel|
|Maturation:||in cement egg, in amphoras|
|Maturation duration:||6 months|
What started out from humble beginnings over 20 years ago is now one of Valais’ flagship wineries and the byword for both a way of working in harmony with nature and premium wines, all of which strongly bring out their individual terroir.
Valais natives and cousins Stéphane Reynard and Dany Varone are perfectionists who love what they do. They tend to their vines, which live and thrive above Sion in the village of Savièse, as if they were their own children. Thanks to Dany Varone’s meticulous and expert work in the wine cellar, they craft terroir wines of the highest quality. This winemaking duo – now part of the Valais elite – laid the foundation for their successful Domaine Cornulus project in 1986, setting up the “Buteo” wine cellar and launching their “Garage Winery”. They bought their first harvests straight off the vines of various Savièse winegrowers and started pressing them in a garage. The following year, they leased their first vines in the vineyards above Sion (less than 1 hectare). In 1989 they created the Sélection Cornulus, after which their winery is named. A few harvests later, they acquired their first plots in the Clos de Mangold in 1995. Their dream of establishing a real domaine of their own gradually took shape. “After all, you will rarely find a good wine without terroir,” say Stéphane and Dany. In 1999 there followed the “prime cut”, the famous Clos des Corbassières, the jewel in the domaine’s crown. In the course of the “noughties”, they successively acquired various Grand Cru plots between Sion and Sierre as well as Clos Chamaray, St-Charles and La Follie. The rich palette of exquisite vines was finally rounded off to perfection by the magnificent Clos des Monzuettes.
From cheerful drinking wine to the classy grand cru: the Chasselas is, with good reason, the flagship of Switzerland. It is extremely multifaceted. A young, apple and pear fruit specimen turns raclette into a feast. And a mature plant from the steep slopes of Lake Geneva, for instance from Lavaux, perfectly accompanies fish and seafood with its nut and flint notes. In its stronghold, the canton of Vaud, the Chasselas was once called Fendant. It has been known there for over 500 years. But at the beginning of the 20th century, vintners renamed it Chasselas, and from then on wrote the communities of origin on the label. Meanwhile, the grapes gathered such a reputation in neighbouring Valais as Fendant that most people today believe the name was invented there. The difference between the regions is that in Vaud the terroir expression of Chasselas is particularly noticeable. In Valais, conversely, the warm weather allows particularly round, fruity wines to develop. The Chasselas from Neuchâtel is not to be forgotten. A specialty there is the non-filtré, an unfiltered wine which is enjoyed in January as an early harbinger of spring.
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.