Syrah Prestige AOC Valais 2013 Cave Jean Maret, Fully
Valais has many choices of wine – more than 70 different grape varieties. Even the Dalai Lama has a few vines in Saillon at Farinet’s trail. Farinet was the Robin Hood of the Alps and a master of forgery (do visit the intriguing museum of forgery in Saillon). With its varied soils and microclimate Valais produces particularly good syrah.
Nose – Tree tomatoes, molasses and spice with charcuterie and feral overtones.
Palate – This is an easy drinking not too heavy and tannic syrah. The nose and palate transported me to an Indian bazaar with rows and rows of colourful spices.
Food match – Chasse (game) season is here and will be for a while. Try to find a place that cooks the meat on an open fire and has all the traditional accoutrements – spetzli, red cabbage, chestnuts, brussel sprouts and pears poached in red wine. Chasse often makes rich and heavy dishes so you need a wine that can stand up to but not overpower them. This is one wine that works exceptionally well with venison.
Mood match – With an epicurean (whom you are quite comfortable with sitting for several hours) in a well-reputed restaurant with excellent food and wine. I feel it’s best to be in the mountains when eating chasse. Some great spots I can recommend are: Auberge de la Cergniaulaz, Les Avants-pre alps; and Restaurant Miroir de l’Argentine, Solalex-alps.
Tip: Good fine wine glasses in a restaurant are often an indication of good food.
To appreciate the experience make sure you have a large, deep but thin, very thin wine glass so you can properly swirl the wine around. There’s nothing worse than having an insignificant short little wine glass where you cannot swirl, sniff, tip, nor play with the wine.
Swirling as you may or may not know opens the wine and allows it to release its aromas. Try it. First smell the wine before swirling, then again after swirling and you will understand what I mean. The before and after experiences are almost as if you have sniffed two entirely different wines.
Winter is not winter without chasse. Although we are supposed to be in autumn it just snowed here at 720 metres.
Nina Bobillier is a wine reviewer and guide. firstname.lastname@example.org