Great Pinots from Switzerland

Recently I’ve been tasting quite a lot of Swiss Pinot Noir (+ a few very nice wines made from inferior varietals - just kidding :wink: ) from Grisons resp. Signuradi (Bündner Herrschaft). So far I had a few juvenile entry-level Pinots, some a bit more mature ones from the middle-class and have been doing a bit of travelling to a couple of estates including Cicero, Hermann, Gantenbein, Studach, Pelizzatti, Eichholz and Donatsch.

I was really surprised about the high quality level in this tiny viticulture (approx. 420 ha) area along the young Rhine river. Unfortunately it is pretty hard to get a bottle outside Switzerland (and even there it can be a bit tough) – but those Pinots are worth trying anyway! So if you ever got the chance [cheers.gif]

If your interested in the Pinots of the eastern part of Switzerland feel free to check out the tasting note reports on my blog. I didn’t want to include them right here 'cause there faaar too long. By the way - sorry for that and of course sorry for my miserable English!



Grisons estate visit part 1: Weinbau Cicero (Mattmann) and Weingut Donatsch

Grisons estate visit part 2: Weinbau Hermann and the estate of the Gantenbeins

Grisons estate visit part 3: Weingut Eichholz (Irene Grünenfelder), Weinbau Annatina Pelizzatti and the estate of Thomas Studach

Tasting of some mature middle-ager Pinots:

Tasting of the adolescent entry-level Pinots:

Yes, I haven’t seen any in my area of the USA, and would be surprised to find any on the Internet! But I’d certainly be curious to try one…

FWIW, we had a beautiful one two years ago:

Pinot Noir de Cully 2008
Frédéric Blondel

This is grown near Lausanne, on the lake, so not in the same part of Switzerland. Very lovely and carefully made wine, really a delight to drink. We got it as a gift from a German friend who knows the vintner–I don’t know if it’s available in the States, but I doubt it.

I am staring at some Gantenbein right now. I bought it a ways back after hearing that Swiss pinot were great. One of the Somms was pretty high on Gantenbein at La Paulee this year. If I don’t pop it soon, I’ll bring it to the Paulee this year and can, hopefully, share with some of the people here.

Those Gantenbein Pinots can be really impressive - unfortunately a bit pricey, too.
I think taking it to the Paulee is a good idea! Could be a nice surprise for other people as well. Pinots younger than 2007 got some slight oak influences left. Esp. the 2008 (the others not so much). Their wines always need a bit of “settling”-time (now 60 to 70% new oak ageing, used to be 100%)

I’ve never seen them in SoCal, not much makes it out of the neighborhood in Switzerland.

IMHO, the PN would really be a hit with AFWE here on the board.

We have a couple of bottles that are scheduled for the next few weeks. I hate posting TNs, but may break down this time. It is excellent Pinot.


It’s a pity those wines are so hard to find outside of Switzerland…

Alex R.