Switzerland, like France and Italy, has seen great improvement in its rosé wines in the past 3-5 years, and it’s easy to find excellent ones.
By excellent we are talking about wines with beautiful summer colours that range from palest peach or salmon to deep flamingo pink. Wines that have beautiful floral and fruit – especially small red fruit – aromas to match the season and that are dry to very dry, European rosé style.
Three of the country’s largest wineries, all of them cantonal cooperatives, are now making top of the line rosé wines; for a bit less money you will find their other rosés, equally classy.
Geneva, Cave Genève, which has a new name (it dropped the “de” this spring) and a new logo, also has a new line of wine, designed to better compete with European Union wines on their own territory, according to the Tribune de Genève. The Trésor line of three whites, a rosé from Gamaret grapes and two reds is named after the famous treasure of Geneva, hidden for two millennia and discovered under St Peter’s Cathedral in 1984. The rosé is a deep pink, dry and spicy, rich enough to accompany fish with sauce or red meat. The winery suggests it is beautiful with Asian food, which I haven’t tried as a food-wine pair, but I would expect it to work well.
Down the lake in Morges, Cave Cidis is offering a delightful “Rosé de Merlot” 2014, also from Merlot grapes grown along the shores of Lake Geneva. This one is an elegant light, bright cherry colour with small red fruit notes, very refreshing and long in mouth. It’s a slightly lighter wine than the Geneva one, perfect as an aperitif or with grilled fish or chicken – a sociable, pleasant wine made by a winery whose collection of several rosés is worth trying and comparing.
One of the most exciting rosés this summer comes from Valais, from winery Provins, the country’s largest cellar. “Apologia Pink” is not shy and if you have one glass you’ll ask for a refill. It was created in 2013 as a rosé blend from grapes that are native to Valais, their noble red grapes. It is a pink jewel that makes you suspect the worst of sticky sweet rosés could be hidden there, but it is nothing of the sort. It’s acidic, dry, racy – in short, fun and just right for the patio or veranda or restaurant terrace. Good on its own or try it with shellfish. A beauty!
I spoke with Tony Johnston at WRS radio this afternoon about what to look for in a rosé, and the wines mentioned here, with a bit about how they are made.