Petite Arvine, John & Mike Favre, Valais, Switzerland 2015
Pricing: around €28.95
Available: specialised off-licences around the country including 64 wines, Searson’s (Monkstown), La Touche (Greystones), Drinkstore (Stonneybatter), Next Door (Clonakilty), Green Man Wines (Terenure) and Vanilla Grape (Kenmare)
The Valais is a wine region of Switzerland situated on the shore of the Rhone River. It has some of the highest vineyards in Europe with altitudes ranging from 450 to 1150 metres above sea level.
The Valais is a small wine region with only 5200 hectares of vineyards planted. These 5200 hectares are divided into 80 000 individual plots and are shared between 22 000 different owners.
Petite Arvine is an indigenous grape variety from the Valais.
Only 154ha are currently planted in the whole of Switzerland, most of it in the Valais.
The blossom of Petite Arvine is fragrant which makes it quite a unique grape variety as generally vine blossom does not have any scent.
The styles of wine produced range from bone dry to sweet.
Rene Favre was originally the founder of a small cooperative cellar but his dream was to produce high quality wines. He had to wait 20 years to be able to realise his dream and his first vintage as an independent producer was 1979.
Jean-Charles was one of the first to develop integrated viticulture in the Valais.
The vineyards are based in Chamoson which is a Grand Cru Village of the Valais. The family owns 7 hectares of petite Arvine including the oldest plots of Petite Arvine in the world (planted in 1927). The youngest vines were planted in 1955. The vineyards are terraced and the soil is composed mainly of slates.
This wine was elaborated in stainless steel. It was left on fine lees until June following the harvest. Its nose is very pure and mineral with some rhubarb, blossom and exotic aromas. On the palate the wine is bone dry, racy and elegant with great energy and saline minerality. The flavours are similar to the aromas present on the nose with an extra dimension of spiciness and savoury notes.
Drink between now and the next 3-5 years
Serve at 10-12 ËšËšdegrees with light dishes such as a ceviche of salmon, fennel and orange.
Cuvée Vom Berg, Muhr-Van Der Niepoort, Carnuntum. Austria 2014
Pricing: about €21.95
Available: specialised off licences including Baggot Street wines, McHugh Off licence (Kilbarrack), Redmond’s (Ranelagh) and 64 Wines (Glasthule)
The wine region of Carnuntum stretches from Vienna in the West to the border of the Slovak Republic in the East and the Danube river delimits the region to the North.
The soil structure, made of mainly loam, loess and sandy gravels, offer ideal conditions for the production of red wines. The most planted red grapes being Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt.
Muhr-Van Der Niepoort winery is a collaboration between Dorli Muhr and Dirk Niepoort who also makes wine in Portugal.
The wine is a blend of Syrah and Blaufrankisch.
Blaufrankisch is a grape which is capable to produce a wide range of styles: from light, fresh and fruity to deeply coloured, flavoured, dark-fruited and spicy.
The style produced here is extremely elegant. The nose is peppery, spicy with some crushed red fruits and a slightly animal character. On the palate, the wine is dry, medium-bodied, very refreshing with a delicate tannic presence. The burst of little red berries, pepper and minerality on the mid-palate combined to a juicy structure confer to this wine a fantastic drinkability.
It is a great option for pairing with meats such as duck or pigeon.
Serve at a temperature of 15-17 degrees. No need to decant it nor aerate it.
Drink from now and within the next 5 years.