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‘The’ Swiss Pinot Noir, 2006 Gantenbein

April 1, 2010

At the ‘Friends of Ernie’ tasting I had a chance to taste a wine that has been dubbed “Switzerland’s Romanee Conti”. I tasted 1969 La Tache once but never any Romanee-Conti so I can’t really say whether the comparison is accurate or not but I will say that I bet Romanee-Conti always has more tannic clout at 4 years of age and never lets its oak peek through the way this wine did. Nonetheless this was a very nice Pinot Noir with lots of varietal character and I have to admit that in a blind tasting I’d tend toward Burgundy, so the above comparison is perhaps more appropriate than I made it out to be. The Gantenbeins undoubtedly put their hearts into this wine because it can’t be a simple task to produce Pinot like this in Switzerland. The comparison is maybe more apt to describe the dedication to making the best possible wine that they have in common with Monsieur de Villaine than to describe similarities in the potential of their respective vineyard sites.

The wine had a light red/garnet color. The nose was complex with wood smoke, caramel, red cherry and hints of mushrooms and cured meat. The tannin is low plus as is the acidity. The finish is smoky and cherry notes show up in the right place at the right time. I wonder how this will age because the structure is pretty light and the oak rather apparent but the fruit never fails to shine through. A Swiss Pinot this good gets you to thinking, that is for sure, and it was easily a very memorable wine experience.

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