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).
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.
Originally grown for its grapes as fruit, this variety still accounts for some 40 per cent of the total acreage of Swiss vineyards. At the Domaine des Balisiers, however, it is something of a “residual”. In order to give it more substance, its yields are strictly controlled, at 70 hectolitres per hectare. It is a pale golden yellow. Its flowery nose features dominant notes of camomile and lime-tree blossom. It makes a good aperitif white but it also goes well with fondue, raclette, cheeseburger and other cheese-based dishes. We recommend drinking within about two years of the harvest depending on the vintage.