From: Mont-sur-Rolle AOC La Côte, Switzerland
Taste: In the glass, delicate notes of white blossom, white peach, and freshly sliced pear, later evolving into a sophisticated blend of citrus zest, elderflower, and stony minerality. On the palate, this wine is fresh and vibrant with an enticingly subtle richness derived from its lees ageing. It is a symphony of understated flavors where orchard fruit and citrus nuances are balanced with a captivating minerality. There is a quiet intensity about this wine that intrigues. The finish is long, clean, and nuanced, leaving an aftertaste that beckons for another sip.
Pairing: Given its Swiss origin, the 2021 L'Alpage Chasselas pairs perfectly with traditional Swiss fare. Consider serving this wine with a classic Swiss raclette or fondue, where the rich, creamy cheeses will be beautifully offset by the wine's crisp acidity and subtle fruit. It would also serve as an excellent accompaniment to freshwater fish dishes such as trout meunière, where its subtle minerality will resonate wonderfully with the fish's delicate flavor. Lighter poultry dishes and vegetable tarts would be enhanced by this wine's gentle fruit character and balanced acidity (check out the recipe below). Similarly, Asian cuisine with delicate flavors like sushi or a Thai green curry could benefit from the softness and freshness of this Chasselas. For a cheese course, pair this Chasselas with Gruyère, Emmental, or a creamy goat cheese. The wine's elegance and delicate minerality form a perfect counterbalance to these cheeses' rich and slightly nutty flavors.
Creamy Onion Tart
Recipe from "Home Cooking and Jean-Georges"
Adapted by Tara Parker-Pope
About. L'Alpage, true to its name, which translates to 'mountain meadows' where renowned Swiss dairy cows graze during summer, does the same. It captures the essence of its beautiful surroundings and embodies the quintessence of Swiss white wine. With a label reminiscent of the Art-Deco Swiss travel posters of the 1930s, it is an artful embodiment of its origin.
This particularly captivating cuvée is selected by Eric Solomon, who has been importing European wines into the United States for over 35 years. Solomon collaborates with the growers and cooperatives, helping them market their wines while assisting with labels, packaging, and proprietary names. This initiative not only reveals the wine's unique essence but also ensures that wine enthusiasts worldwide can enjoy its distinctive flavor.
Mont-sur-Rolle, the vineyard from which this wine is born, is a glittering jewel in the world of wine. Positioned between 400 and 600 meters above sea level and benefitting from the sun reflecting on Geneva Lake, it is a viticultural paradise. With its 250 hectares spreading out along the Lake Geneva shores, the vineyard contributes to a prestigious selection of Grands Crus. Here, the Chasselas grape variety is cultivated on 70% of the land.
Chasselas is a global variety, present in more than 38,000 hectares around the world, from Canada to China and New Zealand to Romania. Yet, its true home remains Switzerland. Despite being non-aromatic with naturally low acidity and alcohol levels, the grape variety is cherished for its finesse and ability to express Swiss terroir. It occupies almost 4,000 hectares, making up 28 percent of the nation's wine production.
Indeed, the Swiss terroir seems to be the X factor that enables Chasselas to shine. It benefits from a myriad of soils and a cool, continental climate marked by microclimates around the lakes and Alpine mountains. Despite its perceived lack of character, the very neutrality of Chasselas offers it a unique stage to reflect its environment. And, given the Swiss reputation for precision, it comes as no surprise that the nation has mastered the art of crafting Chasselas wines, creating a broad palette from the basic to Grand Cru.
The L'Alpage Chasselas 2021 represents the marriage of the Chasselas grape and Mont-sur-Rolle's terroir. Made from 25-year-old vines grown sustainably in clay limestone and gravel soils at an altitude of 500 meters, this wine is a testament to Swiss wine-making precision. The hand-harvested grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged on the lees for six months without bâtonnage.
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