To start proceedings at the World Cup tasting held at Boland Cellar on Tuesday (see previous post), three vintages of Dézaley Grand Cru Médinette from highly regarded Swiss producer Louis Bovard. Swiss cheese and Swiss chocolate we’re all familiar with, but its wine? It was going to be interesting to see if it was a contender.
Dézaley is an appellation to the east of Lac Lemain (Lake Geneva). The grape in question is Chasselas, a white variety and the most important in Switzerland. The wines are fermented and matured in large-format oak, so are oxidative in style.
“Very neutral in its youth a bit like the country itself,” said Cees van Casteren, wine writer, educator and consultant who presented the tasting. More serious examples of Chasselas are prized on account of how well it reflects its terroir.
The 2008 was very restrained on the nose and fat and full on the palate with flavours of melon, herbs and spice. “Minerality” is not a word I use lightly (wine jargon) but this wine definitely seemed to have some.
The 2003 was again shy on the nose while the palate had very similar flavours to the ’08 but was even smoother and rounder in texture. The 2000, which was supposedly intended to show the wine at its peak, was corked. Red card for Portugal.
Van Casteren says a current-release vintage of Dézaley would sell for between €50 to €60 a bottle. Pretty smart stuff – good enough to trouble more fancied winemaking nations on its day but unlikely to go all the way.