Pinot Noir is the variety used to make all of Burgundy’s great red wines. Along with Cabernet and Syrah, it is considered to be one of the best three red varieties in the world. It is an extremely fine and racy varietal which can titer up to 13 per cent alcohol. It is best served at cellar temperature, between 16° and 18°. Its red colour is nuanced with violet. It can keep for four to ten years depending on the vintage. It makes a harmonious match for white meat, poultry and some white sea-fish (e.g. dorade or Mediterranean seabass). Its subtle flavour is typically reminiscent of forest berries and wild cherry.
Aligoté is one of the traditional white varieties of Burgundy. It thrives in deep soils with a little limestone and has accordingly developed into a local specialty of the Geneva vineyards. The vine is easy to identify from its luxuriant foliage and reddish shoots. Fruity and full of character, our Aligoté features faint notes of spiciness and lime. It goes particularly well with all seafood dishes and fish, also making a good aperitif in the Winter months. It is a dry wine, a specialty that needs to be well chilled before serving. One wine critic praised its “aromas of ripe fruit underscored by a melliferous note” (24h). To quote another: “in the deep soils of the left bank of the Rhône, on the hillsides of Lully and Perly, this variety matures exceptionally well. This white has a wonderful freshness with just the right touch of acidity” (Basler Zeitung, Wine of the Week).
In 2004, the Domaine des Balisiers decided to plant a new white grape variety experimentally. After numerous tastings and a thorough investigation of the characteristics of our soils, we decided to try the traditional variety of the Loire valley, namely, Chenin. This was to be the first such experiment in Switzerland. In 2004-05, we thus planted three hectares of Chenin Blanc from the massale selection of the Gibault nursery at Jugné sur Loire, which we trained and pruned in the open lyre shape. Our Chenin Blanc is matured for 12 months in clay amphora without undergoing malolactic fermentation in order to preserve the best of its freshness. This successful experiment has enabled us to produce two radically different white varietals. The first is dry and mineral, while the second, made from late-picked grapes, is our only sweet white wine.