This week’s wine is a high altitude luxury Swiss wine fit for a Queen.
ELECTUS 2011, 14.5% Valais Mundi Cornalin, Humagne Rouge, Diolinoir, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Caberenet Franc
Electus, the swiss icon luxury wine, made from mostly native Valaisan grape varieties is rapidly gaining international recognition and is currently exported to London and Hong Kong. In a recent, comparative blind tasting alongside some of the worlds great wines, the world renowned wine critic, Jancis Robinson, gave Electus 17/20. Ms Robinson is part of the committee who selects wine for the Queen of England, so this wine could end up on her Majesty’s table.
Jancis Robinson also rated Solaia 2010, one of the super Tuscans – top notch drops from the Tuscany region of Itay, and Vieux Télégraphe an outstanding wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, to name a couple. Electus received the same score as Solaia 2010 and outscored Vieux Télégraphe 2010 at 16.5/20. Quite an achievement.
Now that high altitude wine aging is known to be a success, some of the 2011 Electus vintages are being aged as an experiment at 2,200m high in the Grand Dixance tunnels. Valais Mundi is the daughter company of Provins, the well known wine cooperative in Sion, Valais, who have successfully been ageing their Les Titans range of wines at this high altitude for a number of years.
High altitude wine ageing?
You may have read a recent article I wrote about ageing wine under water. Did you know that wine is also aged at high altitude?
- Ageing wine in a cellar might not be the best place (Le News – 5.11.15)
What happens to wine when aged at altitude? It evolves more slowly, the wine becomes finer and more elegant, fresher and more fruity; tannins become more rounded. Why age wine at high altitude? There are three things wine needs in order to age well. A steady and constant temperature. At an altitude of 2200m, a constant temperature of 7 degrees Celsius is provided all year round. Secondly an atmosphere with a constant and stable level of humidity. At this altitude, 104% of hygrometry (atmospheric humidity) is guaranteed. Thirdly, totally calm surroundings. At this height you can’t get much calmer.
Attributes of the Electus 2011
Nose – smokey charcoal, leather, cranberries, liquorish, black cherries, boysenberries, musk, charcuterie, black plums, and aromas found when walking through a flourishing forest and a wind swept ocean coastline.
Palate – Ripe juicy fruity mixed berries, smooth velvetly tannins, a hint of bitterness, an opulent virile wine with excellent balance and a lengthy finish. Very impressive!
Food & Mood Match – A sexy, seductive wine with so much going on it’s no wonder Jancis Robinson gave it a 17/20. Encased in a precious box with a gothic style label (which by the way was inspired from a very old tapestry located in a chapel in Mund, Valais) one is taken back to the Tudor and Robin Hood medieval times of the 1200s.
I can just imagine the lords and ladies of that epoch ensconced in their castles wearing their long flowing robes seated at a grand table adorned with candelabras, huge chandeliers hanging down nearly to table level with a blazing fire crackling away in the background. A feast awaiting them of every imaginable delicacy of that time; quail, venison, rabbit, duck, pheasant, tasty pastries and sweets. Accompanied by a duo of harpsichord and lute tinkling away in the back ground.
In Tudor medieval times dinner etiquette dictated that often several people were expected to use the same plate and drinking vessel and you were expected to bring your own cutlery. So it would have been wise to ensure you sat next to someone you liked.
If all this is a bit too much to imagine then summon your real life king or queen, prince or princess, and courtly friends to join you for a lavish dinner. This wine is so good it must be shared. Game is a perfect companion to this wine so when hunting season returns, why not try a medieval venison recipe a la Game of Thrones or medieval roast chicken.
Available at Valais Mundi
Price: CHF 150
Wine lingo: Terroir – how a wine is affected by the following combination of factors: climate, soil, sunlight, location and environment. All these give a wine its distinctive character.
By Nina Bobillier
Nina Bobillier is a wine reviewer and guide. firstname.lastname@example.org