Drink with Fondue: crisp and clear white wine
In Switzerland we traditionally drink crisp white Chasselas, black tea (no milk), and kirsch with cheese fondue. It needs to be dry and very clean to cut through the cheese.
For variety, we might go for Doral, Heida, or Johannisberg, but much complexity can be lost with all the cheese. I still feel Chasselas is the best as much of its complexity is in the mouthfeel not the nose.
In Savoie they drink Jacquere for the same reason, as well as Altesse.
For people accustomed to more acidity in their white wine, Chasselas can feel "not enough" with Fondue. The Savoie wines will work better for you, or some of the Aosta or Alto Adige wines.
One of our "Dark Mysterious Strangers from the Alps"
Mondeuse Noire, or Gros Rouge, was once a highly planted variety in France and Switzerland (especially in Vaud and Geneva). However, the phylloxera epidemic in the 19th century almost wiped out Mondeuse Noire completely. Fortunately enough vines survived.
Savoie have in the last 20 years embraced Mondeuse Noire as their flagship red with increasing success, while Switzerland is slowly following suit, but it remains far less grown today than before.
Mondeuse Noire is a dark berried black grape which produces wines with well-balanced acidity and tannins. It's intense and a little wild. It has a deep purple colour and a pepperiness that seems to suggest that it is related to Syrah (which it turns out, it is). There are often bitter cherry notes and red fruits, especially plums.
We have examples from Savoie, France and Vaud, Switzerland.
The classic Mondeuse you are most likely to have encountered is made to be fairly dark and intense, very ripe. Both our Mondeuses from Jacquin are superb examples of that style from that warmest and sunniest corner of Savoie, Marestel. To complement them we chose the Saint Jean de la Porte from Philippe Grisard, which highlights the fruit and is a smoother, possibly more accessible wine. We then have a wilder, more natural version allowing tannins more expression by Raphael St Germain.
Pick one, Pick all, Enjoy!
PS: If you're not ready to pick yet, Mondeuse's family history is almost a soap opera - if "I'm not your son, I'm your father" was a soap opera plot... Syrah's grandma or Syrah's half-sister, the next big thing? Read a bit more about it below.
Mondeuse Tradition Edmond Jacquin et FilsDark and fruity Mondeuse, the mysterious stranger