ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – When youth and age mix well it’s a beautiful thing to behold. The Mémoire and Friends wine tasting event today allows wineries to show off their newest vintages to people in the Zurich area, but there are also some exceptional older wines on show.
The Mémoire is a group of some of Switzerland’s best wineries who banded together to create a bank of wines to see how well they age. Every year the members taste and critique the older vintages, and they present some to public to allow the rest of us to judge them, too.
This year, 17 wines from the 2005 harvest, which were presented in Germany earlier in the year, are here for tasting. My favorites include:
White – Chasselas, “Le Brez” from La Colombe” winery, Féchy, very elegant, with its youthful fruity notes giving way to more mature notes, honey and brioche
Red – Pinot Noir from Neuchâtel, Chambleau winery, remarkably velvety and smooth for a Pinot. Very elegant, long in mouth
Red – Pinot Noir from Schaffhausen, Baumann winery, nose that reflects the terroir beautifully, condensed and very rich fruit, luscious.
Red – Ticino Merlot, the justifiably famous “Sassi Grossi” from Gialdi. Nose of dense forest undergrowth and almost overripe fruits, sensuous!
Red – Geneva’s Grand’Cour winery has a Cabernet Franc-Cabernet-Sauvignon blend that is all elegance and smoothness, a fine example of Swiss talent for blending reds.
Some vintages age better than others, and some grapes varieties tend to age more handsomely, but it also takes a skilled grower and producer to make a wine that will still be interesting and a pleasure 10 years later.