AOC Wallis, Rouvinez, 2014
It offers a dense and complex bouquet of pineapple and sweet citrus fruits. The fruit of Petite Arvine and the body of the Chardonnay interact beautifully. On the palate it reminds of almonds, apple compote, spices, accompanied by a subtle smoky note and vanilla c rescents. Aromatic, long lasting aftertaste.
|Origin:||Schweiz / Wallis|
|Grape variety:||Petite Arvine, Chardonnay|
|Ripening potential:||2 to 5 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Bouillabaisse, Fish terrine, Crispy roast chicken|
|Vinification:||fermentation in steel tank, pressed carefully and immediately, biological acid degradation in barrel|
|Maturation:||in partly new and used barriques/ Pièces, on the yeast|
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.
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.
King or beggar?
Hardly any variety of vine shows such a broad spectrum of quality as the Chardonnay. Its wines range from faceless neutrality to breath-taking class. It is an extremely low-maintenance vine, which explains why it is grown around the world – even in places where it probably should not be. The aromas of the Chardonnay variety are not very pronounced: a bit of green apple, a little hazelnut; in warmer latitudes, also melon and exotic fruits. The wines are often defined by maturing in casks. They develop more or less subtle notes of butter, toasted bread and vanilla. The grapes achieve their highest expression in their region of origin, Burgundy. Its heart beats in the Côte de Beaune: one might think of the plant growth of Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet. With their finesse and complexity, they can survive for decades. Chardonnay also achieves first class in some Blanc-de-Blancs champagnes. It additionally yields great wines in the Burgundian Chablis, and increasingly in Australia and Chile. A simple rule of thumb for pairing with food: When butter and cream are involved, you cannot go wrong with Chardonnay.
A grain of salt
The white Petite Arvine is the diva of Swiss grapes. It thrives only in the very best sites of Valais: sunny and sheltered from wind, not too dry, but not too moist. No wonder they were almost extinct. For convenience, vintners replaced the delicate plants from the beginning of the last century with more low-maintenance varieties. Their rebirth in the 1990s is thanks to dedicated companies that recognized the unique profile of this primordial Valais variety. Their hallmarks are aromas of grapefruit and rhubarb, paired with a tangy acidity and a curious, slightly salty touch at the end – like a grain of fleur de sel on the tongue. The Petite Arvine is mostly made into a dry wine, but as a sweet wine it offers a fantastic, sweet-spicy taste experience.