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 500-600m altitude, between the River Rhine and the Alps, on a south-facing plateau rising towards the Alps immediately to the north. The climate is continental, slightly cooler than Burgundy, with very cold winters and warm dry summers, which have a significant diurnal range, ensuring freshness is retained – in late July 2016 it sank to 15C at night, from 30+ during the day. The loose soils are of schist and gneiss, more mixed to the north, becoming more schistous to the south.
Red production dominates at about 80%, almost exclusively pinot noir. Production is small-scale, with about 75 producers working a total of just over 300ha of vineyard. High quality is synonymous with Graubunden, as are high prices, and reputedly produces the best Swiss pinot noir.
This wine: lot No. none, so a single bottling run; varietal pinot noir, 12 months in unspecified French oak, Burgundy shaped bottle, no capsule as standard, coated natural cork closure, 13% abv, ex-producer, SFr40 (07/16)
Consumer tasting note: pale ruby, a give away for pinot noir; lots of aromatic complexity, with notes of stewed red cherry, savoury red currant jelly and red plum jam, chocolate and mint, red and black liquorice; perfectly balanced, medium bodied, with flavours of black berry edged with black cherry, dried red fruits, black liquorice, a touch spicy. A long length. Decant for an hour.
Last tasted, sourced from Alpine Wines, 27/05/16.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity ruby, showing tears [the tiniest amount of soft sediment].
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of stewed red cherry, lightly savoury and spicy, the merest hint of sulphur, a creamy lactic edge, red currant jelly, bees-wax, a hint of toast, a whiff of cranberry juice – almost floral, dried cranberry, red plum jam, mint and dark chocolate, whiff of black berry, a hint of red liquorice, gradually morphing into black.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium (+) tannins, medium (+) alcohol, medium body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture, with flavours of black berry edged with a hint of richer black cherry, savoury, creamed stewed red fruits – raspberry, red currant, red cherry, a spicy edge, very low-key hints of sweet oak, black liquorice. A long length with a clean dried red berry finish edged with black berry, black liquorice and spice.
Quality: very good, well-balanced fresh acidity and ripe tannins with alcohol, harmonious overall; sound intensity throughout, slightly lesser concentration, moderate towards highly complex, with evidence of time in well-integrated oak, adding complexity, and in bottle, with a tertiary dimension of chocolate, bees-wax, dried and stewed berries; finishes long. With a little more intensity and concentration this would have been outstanding.
Readiness for drinking/ageing potential: can drink now, has potential for further ageing – a sound structure, quite complex, and well onto a tertiary path, this should improve for another 1-3 years.
- In Search of Pinot Noir. Lewin, B. 2011. Vendange Press.