Ready for Summer!!
A little house-cleaning in May brought out these samples from the cellar. Don’t hesitate to search for and try the interesting French-American hybrid from Geneva and the stellar Mondeuse from Canton Vaud. Nothing like some juicy reds to finish off the month but first some white wines of note.
Aligoté 2014, Domaine Mermoud, Lully, Geneva: Pale straw in color. This is stainless steel fermented and aged 7 months before bottling. An aroma of concentrated lemon oil is very fresh and bright. Slightly neutral palate with some citrus. Somewhat oily texture that finishes with a bit of matchstick. Not a bad drink just not very compelling even for aligoté.
Pinot Blanc, Les Mévaux 2014, Domaine Château l’Évêque, Jussy, Geneva: Very pale straw color almost clear. Reductive notes of wet wool. Some yeasty, cereal notes from fermentation. The palate is clenched (sulfur) but with vigorous aeration displays lemon and witch hazel (gin-like?) flavors. Needs a bit of time or decanting.
Sauvignon Blanc, “Elevé en Barrique” 2014, Domaine les Hutins, Dardagny, Geneva: Straw in color with green streaks. Intense herbal nose that is unremittingly savory. Hard to detect much wood influence either in aroma or texture. Palate begins sweet and offers flavors of thyme and rosemary. A bit too herbal and one dimensional for me.
Heida, “Veritas” 2013, St. Jodern Kellerei, Valais (savagnin): From 100 year-old vines located in Visperterminen. Pale straw in color. Very aromatic nose that gives up its traminer roots. Very sweet, full-bodied entry that is rich, thick and aromatic. Almost too much for me. I wonder about the residual sugar in some of these wines. It’s an impressive display but I think palate fatigue sets in too quickly. I’ll withhold judgment on this one and may try again in a couple of years.
Gamay/Diolinoir 2014, Domaine Grand’ Cour, Jean Pierre Pelegrin, Peissy, Geneva: This is stainless steel fermented with an élévage in cuve. Slightly murky ruby/brown tinge to the color. Interesting sweaty, earthy, bloody (iron) aroma within a red fruit frame. Palate is likewise interesting with mineral, saline components along with middle-weight red fruit (fraises des bois) flavors. Salty like sucking a bloody finger. Finishes short. Interesting.
“Emotion Sauvage“, Les Gondettes 2014, Françoise Berguer, Vin de Pays Romand, Satigny, Geneva (Chancellor or Seibel 7053): This is made from an interesting French-American hybrid known as Chancellor or Seibel 7053. It is a cross between Seibel 5163 and Seibel 880 both developed as a phylloxera resistant alternative to susceptible vinifera vines in the mid nineteenth century. It was at one time widely planted in France but lost favor for its own susceptibility to downy mildew and powdery mildew and AOC regulations that banned all hybrids in rated vineyards.
The wine itself is a lovely blue/black in color and solid to the rim. The nose is somewhat gamey with powerful notes of raspberry and ripe black fruit. The flavors are saturated with thick, ripe black fruit; otherwise it is rather one-dimensional but delicious. It finishes dry and pleasantly bitter. I must say that if I came across this with a sausage pizza in hand I would be a happy man. Very good and at 10 francs a bottle quite a deal.
Pinot Noir, Raissennaz Grand Cru 2013, Domaine Henri Cruchon, La Côte, Vaud: Dark ruby in color. Pretty nose offers up red fruit, spice, tobacco leaf and herbs. Palate is fleshy and sweet with stone fruit concentration (cherry) and hefty, somewhat oversized tannins. Perhaps a bit awkward at the moment.
Churer Blauburgunder, “Gian-Battista” 2011, Weinbau von Tscharner, Graubünden (pinot noir): Ruby/auburn color shows a bit of development. Nose has smoke, rhubarb and root spices. Palate is moderately stemmy and slightly green (I would guess the house-style is to include stems in the fermentation) with some fruit sweetness. Flavors are of root spices and herbs with a little weedy or verdant component. Perhaps needs some time.
Mondeuse Noire, “Le Vin du Bacouni” 2014, Domaine Mermetus, Lavaux, Vaud: Solid garnet/purple to the rim. Very fresh and primary as young mondeuse is wont to be. Slight reduction that quickly blows away. Mouthwatering, crunchy, sour red fruit followed by minerals and granite. Bracing acidity. Finishes clean with fruit acid kick. Has chi. I liked this for its youthful aggression. A worthy counterpoint to the trendy versions from the Savoie.