Annatina Pelizzatti, Pinot Noir Barrique, AOC Graubunden, Jenins, Graubunden, Switzerland, 2012
The canton of Graubunden is at the far eastern end of Switzerland. The top villages are from north to south Flasch, Maienfeld, Jenins and Malans. Vineyards are at about 500m altitude, between the River Rhine and the Alps, on a south facing plateau rising towards the Alps immediately to the north.
Soils are mixed to the north becoming more schistous to the south.The climate is slightly cooler than Burgundy and with a marked diurnal range, ensuring freshness is retained. Red production dominates at about 80%, and pinot noir is almost exclusive. Production is on very small scale, with about 75 producers working just over 300ha of vineyard. High quality is synonymous with Graubunden, as are high prices, and reputedly produce the best Swiss pinot noir.
This wine: varietal pinot noir, 12 months in unspecified French oak, Burgundy shaped bottle, no capsule as standard, natural cork closure, 13% abv, Alpine Wines £41.64 (2016)
Consumer tasting note: a complex nose, rich and ripe with red turning to black fruits, sympathetic use of oak adding complexity and toasty spicy notes, smooth lightweight tannins supported and balanced with fresh acidity, showing signs of development with stewed and dried fruits, and a good long length.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of stewed red cherry and red plum, spice, tea rose, toast, whiff of liquorice, cinnamon, whiff of dried red berries, touches of black cherry and black berry, whiff of dark chocolate.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium tannins, medium alcohol and a medium body, a silky texture, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of macerated red cherry, ripe red plum, cranberry, red currant, black berry, a little spice and an oak undertone. A long length, with a clean fresh and smooth ripe red berried finish.
Quality: an outstanding quality wine, with a lovely balance of acidity with ripe fruit intensity, rich and ripe with alcohol perfectly harmonious; still primary fruit there with evidence of oak and bottle ageing, with tertiary notes of stewed, dried fruit and chocolate. Well integrated oak with noticeable but not overdone toastiness, adding to the complexity. Quite complex with good flavour concentration, a touch more intensity on palate than nose, all panning out to a smooth and fresh long length and smooth finish.
Readiness for drinking/ageing potential: can drink now, has potential for further ageing. Perfectly balanced with good concentration, complexity and length, and room for further development and improvement over say the next 2-3 years.
- In Search of Pinot Noir. Lewin, B. 2011. Vendange Press.