Cave Gregor Kuonen - Salgesch

This report looks at the 2015 vintage in the company of Larissa Kuonen, engineer oenologist with the Gregor Kuonen cellar in Salgesch, and in particular at her “pick of the crop”: the Blanc de Noir wine.

Larissa sums up the 2015 vintage quite succinctly: one in which a remarkable quality was achieved at the expense of quantity, resulting in wines that are fruitier and less acidic.

The summer of 2015 was dry and hot in Valais, which led to the harvest date being considerably earlier. Given this early harvesting, the sugar level in the ripened grapes surprised Larissa, who had to keep a very close eye on this aspect. This is because, if the grapes ripen too long, the resulting wines will contain more alcohol as the juice will be more concentrated, with a higher sugar level. So it was clear from the start that the red wines from the 2015 vintage would contain more alcohol than those of 2014.

As her “pick of the crop”, Larissa cites the Pinot Noir, a wine that is typical of Salgesch because it comes from the grape variety that is most commonly grown in the area. All its facets are explored in the Gregor Kuonen cellar, with eight available versions: from traditional and barrel-fermented versions to the Grand Cru de Salgesch and the Blanc de Noir.

It is the latter that interests us today.

A white wine made from red grapes (by a process in which the grape skins are quickly separated out to minimise contact with the juice), this Blanc de Noir is a yellow colour with beige reflections. On the nose, it suggests a lovely fruit, as if we were dealing with a very light Pinot Noir. In the mouth, it has a surprising roundness, with the finish elevated by a pleasant acidity.

This Blanc de Noir is very drinkable and could easily take the place of a summery rosé wine. It is ideally suited to chicken dishes or to spicy foods, as it shows a perfect balance between acidity and fruit.

For lovers of barbecues and sunny terraces (in Sierre or elsewhere), Vinum Montis has found just the wine for you for the summer months.

This wine is available now in the Gregor Kuonen cellar at the price of CHF 16.10 a bottle.