Continuing on with the theme of wines from unusual regions, Switzerland is another country that fits the bill despite it’s proximity and historical relationship with France and Germany. Add to that the fact that this particular wine is made from a blend of native varietals that I am totally unacquainted with, we pretty much have here a blank-slate situation, approaching this tasting with few points for reference.
- Clarity: Clear
- Intensity: Medium
- Colour: Lemon
- Condition: Clean
- Intensity: Medium
- Development: Youthful
- Sweetness: Dry
- Acidity: Medium+
- Alcohol: Medium
- Body: Medium+
- Flavor Intensity: Medium+
- Finish: Medium+
- Quality: Good
- Readiness/Cellaring: Can drink now, potential to cellar
- Identity: Switzerland / Valais / Fendant, Johannisberg and Reze
- Price: Premium (~$65)
- Long, thin tears
- Aromas of barnyard, yeast, lemon, nectar, white flowers
- Flavours of lemon, nectar, curd, yoghurt, oak, white florals
- Interesting style of wine, better when chilled, seems a bit flabbier (lacking acidity, vibrancy) as it warms up
- Slight grip on palate may be oak/stalk tannin
- ‘Barnyard’ characteristic will be polarising
- Serve with cheese and charcuterie board, dried fruits
What image comes to mind when Switzerland is mentioned? For me, it’s the snow-capped Swiss Alps, and cheese. Surprisingly, this turned out to be quite fitting once this wine was tasted.
I was hesitant when I saw this was labelled as a natural wine, as my previous experience left much to be desired. But a sample size of one is hardly fair, and I needed to decide for myself – is natural wine just a fad (or worse, a fraud), or is there some merit to it?
Thankfully, this experience proved to be much better. Fresh from the fridge, the wine was vibrant and refreshing, reminiscent of the Swiss Alps, yet once in the glass the most noticeable characteristic was… smelly, barnyard-like, possibly even cheesy, and I indicated as such when writing my notes.
While some people will strongly dislike this element, calling it a fault, I know that there will be others who will say that it gives the wine individuality and character. Rather than relying on the opinions of others, I encourage you to come to your own conclusions.
Extra note: this wine has become cloudy towards the end of the bottle, which I was half-expecting given the “no filtration” indication on the label. I do not perceive any effect on the flavour or texture of the wine, only a visual difference. Some consumers may be put-off by this factor, however. Will you?
Read more: Essential #6 – Wine Tastings