2019 Chandra Kurt Humagne Blanche, Valais, Switzerland
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ABOUT THIS WINE
This cuvée is a collaboration between Chandra Kurt and oenologist Madeleine Gay made from Humagne Blanche planted on limestone soils near Leytron and Saillon. Humagne Blanche is one of the oldest documented varieties in Switzerland and long considered indigenous until recent DNA testing showed it to be identical to the obscure provençale Miousat. The latest theory is that this variety was brought to Marseilles when the Greeks colonized the region in 600 BCE. Somehow it made its way up the Rhône River, where only 30 hectares survive in the Valais.
The fruit is hand harvested, whole-cluster pressing, and fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The wine spends 6 months in stainless steel tanks, removed from lees to prevent malo, light filtration, vegan.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Based in Zürich, Chandra Kurt is Switzerland’s foremost wine writer, educator, and critic. She has authored more than 20 books on wine, including Chasselas – from Féchy to Dézaley – A journey to discover the treasures of the Vaud vineyards and the annual guide Weinseller, along with her wine magazine Weinseller Journal. She studied at the Universities of Zürich and Lausanne and the Institute of Masters of Wine in London. Putting her experience to practice and following her passion for Switzerland’s indigenous varieties, she has launched her own line of wines from vineyards in Geneva, Vaud, and the Valais. Rather than a purely commercial exercise, her wines are an extension of her desire to understand the interaction of terroir and variety and to make wines that are not only a pleasure to drink but reveal something unique and special about the wine styles of her home.
Her collection of wines includes a fresh and vibrantly youthful Chasselas from Geneva aptly named Glou Glou Chasselas, a range of Chasselas from the distinct terroirs of the Vaud, and a selection of indigenous varieties and wine styles from the Valais. She assembles each project first by understanding the vineyards, then guiding the winemaking to be as minimalist as possible. Thus, what is in the bottle is a pure reflection place and variety. While this may seem overly academic, it is a great way to begin to understand that the complexity of Swiss wines is truly worth exploring.