Excited for St Jodern Kellerei for winning an impressive top international award in the recent DWWA (Decanter World Wine Awards) competition, for its 2012 “Heida Barrique” wine. You’ll find more about this winery in my upcoming Swiss wine book, a very special cellar! Its “Heida Veritas” and a red blend, both 2012, won bronze.
“Heida Barrique” is a dry white Paien (also called Heida; grape is Savagnin Blanc). It won in the category of international trophy, white single-varietal over £15.
Here is the description from the competition’s awards pages online:
“A superb, savoury nose with a fantastic spectrum of lemon, lime and blood orange and a sandstone minerality. An unctuous, toasty edge with amazing flavours of lime marmalade and ripe juicy pineapple. Great texture and intensity with a long savoury, saline finish.”
Decanter is a wine magazine based in the UK. The 2014 competition awards were announced in late June.
Swiss wines, nearly 100 prizes
Overall, close to 100 Swiss wines won awards. Two won regional trophies: “Grand-Maître Cabernet Franc” from the Gregor Kuonen winery in Salgesch/Salquenen and “Mitis Amigne” from the Jean-René Germanier winery in Vétroz.
Switzerland didn’t have any gold medal winners in the overall groupings, but 7 wineries from Valais took silver medals, 49 won bronze, and the rest were “commended”. They include wineries from Geneva, Vaud, Neuchatel and the Three Lakes region, Valais and eastern Switzerland. Given the superb quality of many Merlots from Ticino, I can only think no one entered from that canton.
One wine is a bit of a puzzle, described as “Vitis Antiqua Vino & Arte Cornalin 2011” which could be any one of three or four producers, since the name doesn’t quite fit any of them, a shame.
Country’s special grapes perform well
For me, the greatest pleasure is seeing awards for several Swiss grape varieties that are not grown or not really known elsewhere, such as the new white grape variety Doral, developed as a disease-resistant grape that can help organic growers in particular. Judges, like anyone else, are puzzled when they come across wines that don’t fit expectations, so a wine that succeeds under these conditions deserves our attention. Cave Cidis near Morges in canton Vaud won a bronze medal for its “Doral Expression”: “A nose of lemon zest, citrus and flowers that combine with a slightly fizzy, crisp acidity to give a tangy quality. Light and refreshing.”
Humagne Rouge and Cornalin wines from two Valais grapes rarely grown elsewhere, also won prizes.
Tasting notes for two top winners
The Kuonen red wine’s tasting notes on the awards pages:
“A world-class wine with richness and warmth. Fruity, spicy, peppery aromas show good typicity, while exuberant smooth tannins on a medium-bodied palate of blackcurrants, blossom and chocolate are balanced by acidity and great length. With touches of earth and green pepper, this is a wine with a distinguished personality. A great achievement.”
The tasting notes for “Mitis Amigne”, a sweet white wine:
“From one of the best and least known small regions for sweet wines in the world, this shows tropical fruit, ultra-ripe orange, vanilla and sweet spices on a rounded palate with caramel and honey sweetness. Rich, complex aromas, good balancing acidity and a long finish. A first-rate, late-harvest style.