TO FILTER OR NOT TO FILTER! THAT IS THE QUESTION
Neuchâtel Blanc Château d’Auvernier, Switzerland, Unfiltered 2014
Have you ever tried unfiltered wine? If not, and you’re an Oenophile, I would say you must. I love the idea of not filtering because it keeps more of the original flavours and aromas and makes it seem a lot more organic and real.
It’s a bit like when you peel vegetables, most of the goodness and a lot of the flavours are in the skin so why peel it off? For aesthetic reasons of course, which is also one of the reasons why wine is filtered, for visual clarity. This does not mean to say that most of the flavours and aromas disappear with filtering, just some, so don’t get alarmed!
It is somewhat of a dilemma for wine makers because, on the one hand if you filter you can loose flavours and aromas, but on the other hand filtering can often be necessary in order to prevent another fermentation from happening later on in the bottle. Have you ever experienced that? When your normally still, white wine suddenly becomes a sparkling wine. Many white wines often have a small amount of left over yeast and residual sugar and it is this that can provoke another fermentation. If you filter, problem solved.
Ok, the appearance may be a little cloudy which is perfectly normal if you don’t filter, but what does that matter unless you’re a total fusspot? If it means more intense flavours and aromas would you not say no to filtering?
A few facts:
Chasselas is Switzerland’s most widely planted white grape variety and even exists in New Zealand.
Neuchâtel means new castle and is situated at the junction of the Three-Lakes-Region in the West of Switzerland. It is often referred to by the German name Neuenburg because long ago it belonged to the Holy Roman Empire and after that to Prussia.
Chasselas, also called Fendant Roux, was thought to have disappeared a long time ago but was thankfully brought back to Switzerland by the Crusaders.
Château d’Auvernier has been making wine within the same family bloodlines for over 400 years, so I think you would agree with me that they must know what they are doing.
Nose – White flowers, honey suckle, green apple and flint (wet pebbles).
Palate –A zippy, zesty, crisp and clean Chasselas, almost bordering on a sparkling wine. Lime flavours and a lingering after taste. These elements make it a hit as we approach summer time. Yum!
Food and Mood Match – Spring is here at long last. Have a garden party with your favourite group of friends. Aromas of spring flowers and blossoms served with an array of fresh seafood delights and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons playing at full volume. Good company, excellent food, fine wine and warm weather will no doubt put you in a euphoric mood, so enjoy!
Tel: 032 731 21 15
Price: CHF 12
By Nina Bobillier
Nina Bobillier is a wine reviewer and guide. firstname.lastname@example.org