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.
Dame Noire is an original red blend developed in our winery at the Domaine des Balisiers. Virtually all Swiss winemakers stopped maturing their wines in vats during the Second World War because oak could no longer be imported and coopers simply went out of business for want of raw material. In 1985, the Domaine des Balisiers was one of the first wine-making estates to resurrect this traditional method of vinification when it started to produce Dame Noire. The actual proportions of the blend vary with the characteristics of each vintage, but the varieties are consistently Gamay, Pinot Noir and Gamaret. Its deep, dark-red colour is simply superb. Its delicate nose is a perfect balance of fruitiness and spicy lift. On tasting, it is generously full-bodied but entirely without heaviness, combining a soft flavour of black-current with empyreumatic notes. The middle is a full-bodied concentration of rounded fruitiness gently blending with subtle oakiness all the way to the finale. Matured for a full year in oak vats, our Dame Noire is indeed a wine for keeping that develops a oaky note with vanilla-like aromas. It should ideally be allowed five to ten years in a good wine cellar before drinking. It is a mealtime wine that goes particularly well with red meat, BBQs and venison.
This Chenin Blanc varietal is the colour of straw, with slightly silvery hues of green. The generous fruitiness of its nose blends in harmoniously with the toasty, vanilla aromas imparted by its 18-month vinification in oversized oak barrels. On tasting, the first impression is one of intensity, followed by a rich substance balanced between fruity notes and the effects of vinification blended into the very structure of the wine. This varietal is amazingly well balanced in spite of its powerful complexity. At the time of tasting, it delivered impressive length but lacked a touch of freshness to bring out the fullness of its potential depth.