Swiss wine is a closely guarded national treasure—rarely does it venture beyond the country’s borders. In fact, less than two per cent of Swiss wine is exported, and most of that is quickly snapped up by neighbouring Germany.
There are more than 200 grape varietals grown in Switzerland, with a wide range of terroirs contributing to the country’s rich portfolio of wines. Some of its most prestigious vineyards (including Domaines Dugerdil, du Centaures and La Colombe) are within a half hour drive of d’Angleterre, on the shores of Lake Geneva – consequently, the hotel’s cellar is generously stocked with the very finest Swiss vintages.
Here, we speak to Hotel d’Angleterre’s sommelier, Landry Tissot, about which Swiss wines we should select from the list.
Can you tell us about the best Swiss wines served at Hotel d’Angleterre?
“My personal favourite on the wine list is Sophie Dugerdil’s Sauvignon Blanc 2016. It’s from Dardagny, near Geneva, which is an excellent terroir for this grape. It has a lively body with sophisticated notes of citrus and exotic fruits—it’s a fantastic example of Sauvignon Blanc and definitely holds its own against the new world Sauvignons. For another crisp, fresh white, try Domaine du Centaures’ Scheurebe Dardagny from the same terroir. It has deliciously floral and fruity aromas, and the 2017 vintage that we have on our menu is excellent.
For reds, the Comte de Peney 2015 from Domaine des Balisiers is a perennial favourite. A subtle marriage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, it has exquisite notes of Kirsch, tobacco and young leather. It’s a great accompaniment to rich, wintry menus. For something lighter, try Raymond Paccot’s La Colombe Noire 2015. Fine tannins and a fruity bouquet of strawberries, raspberries, cherries and redcurrants make this Pinot Noir a skilled all-rounder.”
What should we look for in a good Swiss wine?
“For the white wines, we should be looking for a crisp, dry texture in the mouth, accompanied by rich, fruity notes. For the reds, we can expect a light, elegant texture with delicate tannins.”
Are there any that you personally recommend?
“It depends on what our guests have ordered from the menu, but I’ll always recommend the Sauvignon Blanc 2016 from Dardagny for those who enjoy white. If you’re not keen on Sauvignon Blanc, I’d suggest Chasselas 2016 from Domaine des Lolliets. Chasselas is one of the main white grapes grown in the country and this particular vintage from Soral, just south of Geneva, is particularly full and fruity.
In terms of reds, of course I’d recommend the Comte de Peney that I mentioned earlier. For an excellent Pinot Noir, Christian Obrecht’s Trocla Nera 2015 is a sophisticated choice. A great Swiss Syrah is Cave des Amandiers’ 2015 vintage. It has a typically peppery nose and spicy tasting notes, with a rewarding, complex aftertaste.”
Are there any Swiss wine producers that we should look out for?
“Sophie Dugerdil in Dardagny is an excellent producer with a strong portfolio of very skilled boutique wines. Also in the Geneva area is Domaine Pellegrin in Satigny. The Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay from this producer are simply beautiful. Obrecht, which I mentioned earlier, is located in the northeast of the country and produces a masterful Pinot Noir that appeals to enthusiasts of this particularly tricky grape.”
Allow our sommelier Landry to introduce some of Switzerland’s finest locally produced wines while staying at Red Carnation Hotels’ Hotel d’Angleterre.
Image credits: lead image iStock/ nikitos77. Swiss vineyards iStock/eugeniek. Wine tasting iStock/glaxia.Wine cellar iStock/Instants