The “king of Burgundy” is a variety considered to produce some of the world’s finest wines. At the Domaine des Balisiers, Chardonnay undergoes its fermentations in clay amphora for 12 months. Maturing the wine in amphora ensures slow oxygenation, which optimizes the expressiveness of its varietal character. Together with Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay is one of our richest and most elaborate white wines. Vineyard yields are kept very low. Our Chardonnay’s exuberant nose is all about vineyard blood-peach, apricot and golden apple. From initial freshness, its taste develops into silkiness with an elegant full-bodied texture and buttery notes of yellow flowers. The long finale brings up a mineral touch. It will happily accompany a dish of sauted forest mushrooms, salmon carpaccio, smoked salmon or any lake fish. It also makes an ideal aperitif wine.
Gamaret is an original Swiss grape variety, a hybrid that was first bred towards the end of the 20th century by Switzerland’s Federal plant breeding/viticultural centre at Changins. It was initially used only in blends with Pinot Noir and Gamay. Over the past decade or so, however, it has gained ground across the Geneva vineyards in its own right. Our Lune Rousse is 100% Gamaret. It is the produce of some six acres planted with this variety near the Geneva suburb of Plan-les-Ouates. It is matured in our winery’s clay amphora for 15 months. Its characteristically dark red colour plays a prelude to its strong tannic expressiveness and low acidity. Lune Rousse makes a marvellous companion for various meat and spicy dishes (tartare, curries, Thai cuisine, venison stew). One taster, Oenologist Raul Cruchon in Echichens, described it as “The most wonderful Gamaret I have ever tasted!” Another, Sommelier Raymond Paccot of Féchy, exclaimed: “What a body! Such intensity and promise!” A third, the wine reviewer for the French daily Le Monde, commented: “This is an unusual wine ... still imbued with the subtlety of its primeval substance, tannins just begging to turn smooth, a dry essence with incredibly potent aromatic potential ... Amazingly successful, a great wine for ageing.”
Originally grown in Alsace, along the banks of the river Rhine, the Pinot Blanc grape has recently acquired a new reputation as one of the varieties grown in the Geneva vineyards. Our Pinot Blanc thrives on the east bank of the Rhône, a few miles south of Geneva near the hamlet of Perly and by the Château de Sierne at Veyrier. This varietal features translucent lemony hues and a dominant aroma of golden apple. On tasting, it goes on to deliver a wonderful balance of flavours, starting with a clean bright freshness, moving to a full-bodied middle of sweet fruitiness and ending with a touch of citrus. It makes a good aperitif wine, but it is also a remarkable match for salmon carpaccio with lime juice, vegetarian Quiche or white lake-fish. Recommended drinking is three years after bottling.