Domaine des Muses, Humagne Blanche, Tradition, AOC du Valais, Switzerland, 2013
On humagne blanche
A white variety indigenous to the Valais, where the majority, amounting to tens of hectares, is planted. It is thought to have been introduced from southern France in ancient times , and is unrelated to humagne rouge aka cornalin. Produces wines with a full-body, high acidity – which lends to ageing, of 3-5 years, an oily richness, and chardonnay-like neutrality, so suiting exposure to oak. The sensory profile, from a survey of tasting notes and other sources, includes beeswax, dessert apple, lightly floral – lime tree blossom and iris, fennel, grass, hay, heather, herbs, honey, menthol, nuttiness, resin [2, and others].
This wine: lot No. none visible, varietal humagne blanche, coated natural cork closure, 13% abv, Gauntleys, £30.55 (10/18)
Consumer tasting note: a rare Swiss variety, rare worldwide for that matter, with a profile of citrus, orchard and stone fruit, with frills of fennel, honey and cracked nut shells; full-bodied and velvety, with a palate of rich citrus, lightly baked apple, hazelnut, and hints at a warmer tropicality. Finishes long.
Drink now – RTD, but will keep – Wait. Decant for 30 minutes plus.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity lemon, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of warm lemon flesh tinged with lemon zest, a spicy edge, shades of green apple, cold stewed apple, hints of richer white stone fruit, green herbs, hint of fennel, beeswax, hint of thin honey, a hint of cracked nut shells [on day 2 apricot and yellow peach tend to dominate].
Palate: dry, medium acidity, medium alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, a velvety almost oily texture, with the very lightest of grips, with flavours of warm lemon flesh, stewed and lightly baked apple, white stone fruit, hint of hazelnut, with a suggestion of a richer tropical dimension, hint of yellow peach. A long length with a clean, apple-white stone fruit finish, with the lightest of grips, and a touch of tinned yellow peach on the end.
Quality: very good, with moderate, but fresher seeming balancing acidity with alcohol and body, perfectly harmonious; full body, quite strong intensity throughout with a similar concentration, showing an interesting better than moderate complexity, with evidence of time in bottle (unoaked) with notes of beeswax, honey and nuts; finishes long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential for further ageing, over say 2-3 years – a sound structure, with a long length and developing complexity, encompassing an emerging tertiary dimension, which should develop more coherency.
- Robinson, J., Harding, J., Vouillamoz, J. Wine Grapes (2012). Allen Lane.
- Swiss Wine Valais – Humagne blanche [online] accessed 24/10/18.