GENEVA / LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – The news was already out of the bag that 2010 will be a great vintage for wines in Switzerland but now the best producers of a great vintage are also known.
The new crop of recently bottled 2010 wines as well as 2009 wines that have been maturing (and some older vintages that have been aging) have been judged in cantons Geneva and Vaud. The winners, announced at what are known as the official “Selections” 16 and 17 June, will represent the cantons and thus the region in international competitions.
Geneva this year shows off several prize-winning young producers who are anchoring the dramatic improvement in the canton’s wines in recent years. Wines from the canton won 21 gold medals in the past 10 years at the important Vinalies competition in Paris alone, and several more gold medals at other top international events.
Geneva judges try new method for noting competing wines
The 2011 Geneva Selection used a new approach to judging and while it may be too early to tell the impact, the participating judges told cantonal agricultural office authorities afterwards they were pleased with the change.
Judges at wine competitions usually work in small groups at tables where they are tasting and noting the same wine at the same time, which invariably leads to some individuals or the group influencing judges’ ratings, even though the tables of judges do not normally discuss the wines. Geneva this year had all of the judges tasting their wines independently, making any discussion impossible, since no one judge knew what wine another was tasting.
Top prize Sanglier goes to Dardagny sweet Pinot Gris
Geneva handed out prizes to its award-winning producers at the Hotel de Ville 16 June, where the wines were available for tasting, along with Geneva specialties from the traditional sanglier or boar that acts as a mascot. The coveted top prize for the wine with the highest overall rating, called the Sanglier, this year went to Domaine Les Hutins in Dardagny, for the father-daughter team’s late-harvest sweet wine, a Pinot Gris 2008.
The number of wines presented at the Geneva Selection has grown steadily, from 280 in 2000 to 654 in 2011, with 51 judges this year.
Geneva is Switzerland’s third-largest wine-producing canton, after Valais and Vaud.
Vaud names top three wines in six categories
Vaud will hand out prizes to its award winners at the Gstaad Open tennis tournament in July. Some 1,070 wines were entered in the competition and given notes by 80 judges over three days. Awards were given to 330 wines, 148 of them gold and 182 silver, in six categories. Chasselas, the canton’s standard bearer, had 135 winners, or more than one-third of the prize wines.
Complete list of Geneva award-winning wines (Vaud to follow Monday evening)