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.
Having identified the outstanding potential of a 0.7 hectare vineyard planted with Pinot Noir in Peissy, we undertook to enhance the quality of its produce further by limiting its yield (8-10 bunches of grapes per vine), delaying the harvest, and vinifying it separately. Ilôt Noir spends three weeks in fermentation tanks in order to maximize its concentration by enhancing its tannins, substance and colouring. It is then matured for a year in large oaken barrels (“foudres”) for micro-oxygenation and aromatic subtlety, and subjected to minimal filtration. With its garnet-red colour, this Pinot Noir varietal features a nose of remarkable freshness, fragrant with raspberry. On tasting, its flavours strike a harmonious balance between subtlety and the smoothness of silky tannins. It holds the promise of great potential for ageing.
The latest addition to the Balisiers wine list, Mélopée, is made from late-picked Chenin grapes harvested at the end of November or early December in order to concentrate their sugar and aromatic complexity. Our annual production is only 500 bottles. Its brilliant colour features light hues of amber, while its powerful aroma tells a tale of stewed fruit, dates, pineapple, and ripe peach. From a smooth rounded start, its flavour develops through a compact middle to a syrupy finish. Mélopée is a very rich wine that works wonders with a passion fruit sorbet. It is the ultimate nectar, a fount of passions.