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Switzerland's best wines
The 'Mémoire des Vins Suisses' part 2
Présentation au Casino de Morges

This was a public tasting involving most of the producers from MdVS (see part 1); it was also my first serious exposure to Swiss wine, although I had been impressed by a few high-end Chasselas we’d been served on visits to family in Commugny, near Geneva. My first impressions were very favourable: here was a surprisingly diverse range of wine styles, with uniformly high quality. A few highlights included some very good Syrahs, several pretty serious Chasselas wines, a ringer for a top classed growth Bordeaux and my first experience of the red grape Cornalin. This deserves a special mention: there are only 30–40 acres of this in Switzerland and just a few in Valle d’Aosta in Italy. Yet 30 years ago there were just 5–7 vines in the world! It almost became extinct, but on the showing here, it’s a good job it didn’t. Apparently, it’s a pain to grow, though.

Raymond Paccot
1173 Féchy

Raymond Paccot Domaine de la Colombe Le Brez 2003 Féchy
A Chasselas. Full, quite interesting herby nose. Palate is rich, concentrated and quite fat with lovely intensity of melony fruit. Quite a rich, low-acid style.  Thick, fat and delicious. Very good/excellent 91/100

Raymond Paccot Domaine de la Colombe Le Brez 2001 Féchy
Full, quite intense herby nose. The palate is rich and concentrated with fat, melony fruit and good acid, giving a spicy finish. Quite developed in a sweet, herby style. A bit fresher than the 2003 and with lovely definition. Very good/excellent 91/100

Raymond Paccot Domaine de la Colombe Reserve Pinot Gris 2004 La Côte
A rich, fat white with nice, rounded fruit. Very good+ 88/100

Charles Rolaz, Hammel SA
Chemin des Cruz, 1180 Rolle

Domaine du Crochet Cuvée Charles Auguste 2003
Really classic Claret-taste alike. Nose shows full blackcurranty fruit with some classy spicy definition. Serious stuff. Good concentration of blackcurrant fruit on the palate with spicy structure. A stylish wine of great character and potential. Very good/excellent 93/100

Domaine de la Muraz Humagne/Cornalin 2004 Sion
Lovely vivid, intense sweet juicy red fruits nose. Fantastic. The palate is fresh and full with lovely fruit purity: it is concentrated, fresh and delicious. Very good/excellent 91/00

Hans-Ulrich Kesselring, Schlossgut Bachtobel
Bachtobelstrasse 76, 8561 Ottoberg

Bachtobel Pinot Noir No. 2 Auslese 2004
Made with wild yeasts in large casks (800 litres). Lovely pure sweet fruits on the nose. The palate has nice elegant sweet fruit. Quite fresh and sappy with lovely elegance. Very good/excellent 92/100

Bachtobel Pinot Noir No 3. Der Andre 2003
Lovely sweet forward intense nose shows elegant spicy red fruits. The palate is rich and full with nice subtle roasted richness to the fruit. Quite elegant with lovely definition. Very good/excellent 90/100


Christian Zündel
6981 Beride

Terraferma 2003
Sweet dark fruits nose. Lovely modern spicy dark fruits palate which is quite full and with a savoury bite on the finish. Nice fruit. Very good+ 89/100

Orrizonte 2001
Nice dark fruits with a distinctive spiciness. The palate is dark and full with lovely spicy intensity. Delicious. Very good/excellent 90/100

Domaine Henri Cruchon  
1112 Echichens  


Henri Cruchon Les Pétoleyres 2004 Morges
Chasselas. Quite a sweet, honeyed, herby nose : aromatic and fruity. Rich fruity palate with good concentration and a rounded texture, together with a trace of nuttiness. Very good+ 89/100

Henri Cruchon Pinot Blanc 2004
Wonderful, fresh, slightly spicy, richly fruited nose. Lively palate with great acidity backing up the fresh fruit. Quite delicious: a fantastic wine. Very good/excellent 92/100

Louis Bovard

Domaine Louis Bovard
1096 Cully  

Louis Bouvard Dézaley Médinette 1997 Dézaley
Chasselas. Deep yellow–gold colour. Rich, nutty nose. Palate shows smooth rounded fruit: quite ripe with pear and melon notes. Soft and mellow. Very good+ 89/100

Louis Bouvard Dézaley Médinette 2004 Dézaley
Fresh, open, herby minerally nose. The palate combines lovely rich herby fruit with good acidity. A really delicious fruity white. Very good/excellent 91/100

Louis Bouvard Buxus Sauvignon 2003
Deep yellow colour. Really fantastic nose is rich and open with full, fresh peachy fruit. Sweet and intense. The palate is rich with flavours of melon and peach, together with a bit of lychee. Very good/excellent 92/100

Louis Bouvad Rouge 2003
A blend of Syrah and Merlot with just a touch of Pinot Noir. Smooth, pure fruity nose of forest fruits. The palate shows ripe smooth red and black fruits with good acid. Modern and pure. Very good+ 89/100

Baumann Weingut
Unterdorf 117, 8216 Oberhallau

Baumann Pinot Noir R 2002 Oberhallau
Herby, spicy, smoky nose. The palate is bright and fruity with a roasted character. Nice and fresh. Very good+ 89/100

Baumann Pinot Noir R 2003 Oberhallau
More rounded, with richer, spicy fruit. It’s quite elegant, although there’s plenty of oak influence. Very good+ 89/100

Baumann Pinot Gris 2004
Rich, fat open nose shows melon and tropical fruits. The palate is smooth and fat with some sweet fruit, nice acid and a soft, buttery texture. Delicious, with some spicy complexity. Very good/excellent 91/100

Casa Vinicola Gialdi SA
Via Vignoo 3, 6850 Mendriso

Gialdi Giornico Riserva Oro Merlot 2002 Ticinio
Fruity, spicy character with some dark fruits. It’s quite open – a fruity style with good weight. Perhaps a bit flat on the nose. Very good+ 89/100

Gialdi Sassi Grossi Merlot 2003 Ticinio
Aged for 18 months in new French oak. Dark, spic, chocolatey nose, with vivid fruit. The oak is apparent on the dark, spicy palate. Firmly tannic finish. Nice, but a little bit oaky. Very good+ 88/100

Gialdi Biasca Premium 2001 Ticinio
Aged in used barrels. Dark coloured. Deep spicy dark fruits nose. Structured dark fruits on the palate with nice definition and an appealing spiciness. Very good+ 88/100

Rouvinez Vins Sierre
Colline de Géronde, 3960 Sierre

Château Lichten Blanc 2001
A very appealing white wine. Lovely open brightly fruited nose with a smoky edge to the herbal fruit. The palate shows nice concentration with bright acidity and a rubbery, smoky edge to the fruit. Delicious and expressive with some fruit sweetness on the finish. Very good/excellent 92/100
Château Lichten Blanc 2005 (tank sample)
Fantastic: fresh, open and spicy with really nice weight and acidity. Very good/excellent 91–94/100

Château Lichten Cornalin Montibeux 2004
A varietal Cornalin. Bright, open fruity nose with delicious forward red fruits. The palate is pure, vivid and fruity with lovely weight and freshness. Very good/excellent 90/100

Some of the wines from this producer are carried by Tanners in the UK  

Provins Valais
Rue de l’Industrie 22, 1950 Sion

Domaine Evêché Diolinoir 2003
Sweet, open pure nose of red fruits. The palate is bright with nice open, slightly meaty dark fruits. Finishes savoury and spicy. A nice modern, rather oaky style of wine. Very good+ 89/100

Domaine Evêché Clos Corbassières 2002
Really nice nose of sweet fruit, quite tight, with a nicely defined herby edge. There’s a bright, structured, earthy character to the palate which shows fresh fruit and nice acidity. A keeper? Very good+ 89/100

Jean-René Germanier Balavaud
Route Cantonale 285, 1963 Vétroz

Cayas Syrah 2003 Valais
Modern, forward, spicy-edged nose with good fruit and nicely judged oak. There’s a hint of meatiness. The palate is meaty, rich and spicy with nice weight of fruit and good structure. Needs to come together a bit but great promise. Very good/excellent 90/100

Cayas Syrah 1998 Valais (magnum)  
Open, perfumed meaty nose is very appealing. The palate is expressive and open with lovely dark fruit and nice meaty spiciness. A modern style. Very good/excellent 91/100


Domaine Cornalus, Stéphane Reynard & Dany Varone (above)
Route de Savièse, 1965 Savièse

Clos de Corbassières Johannisberg Vieilles Vignes 2004 Valais
This is another name for Sylvaner. It’s quite richly fruited white with a nice fresh spiciness. Good acid and nice weight. Clean and fresh with some lemony fruit. Very good+ 89/100

Cornalin Antica 2003 Valais
Lovely fresh, vivid sweet red fruits. The palate is nicely weighted with some herbiness backing up the vivid fruit. Nice stuff. Very good+ 89/100

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