“Le Virtuose”, Blondel-Duboux, red blend, Epesses Grand Cru, Lavaux, canton Vaud
I was leaving the Vinorama in Rivaz, on the shores of Lake Geneva, after its ribbon-cutting event Tuesday evening. On a whim I told the staff that my husband was home preparing lamb, potatoes and fresh broccoli, and I wanted a nice big red to go with this lovely meal. “Surprise me”.
This is in Lavaux, next to Dézaley, famous for its Chasselas, and I’d just sampled a fine Pinot Noir. Big and red aren’t the first thing that comes to mind for most Lavaux visitors.
It was a beauty. A surprisingly complex note and velvety smooth. Gamaret, Garanoir and Diolinoir are now a classic blend of three grapes created in Switzerland in the 1970s, partly to help Swiss wineries make better blends. Each grape has a job: one for structure, one for roundness and smoothness and the other for deep colour and tannins. They can fall a bit flat or be very good and this is one of the best examples I’ve found.
At CHF30 it’s not going to be my everyday wine, but it turned our lamb into an unexpected celebration.
The winery suggests it is ready at 4-6 years; it is now four years old and just right.
- Blend, Diolinoir, Gamaret, Garanoir
- Domaine Blondel-Duboux
- Cully, Lavaux, Vaud
- Vinorama, at the winery Saturday mornings
- dark bordeaux red
- Chocolate, violets
- Understated opulence: smooth and round, silky tannins, good acidity. In short, balanced, with a medium-long finish of lingering cocoa.
- Over CHF25
- ✭✭✭ a special wine, out of the ordinary