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Domaine des Muses - Leo Alzinger

Domaine des Muses - Leo Alzinger

Robert Taramarcaz, Granges, Valais

Leo Alzinger is based in Unterloiben and is without doubt one of the true Wachau superstars.

This fine estate makes superlative single vineyard wines from premium mountain sites including Loibenberg, Steinertal, Hollerin and Liebenberg, with soil types including sandy loam and eroded primary rock.

The estate totals about 8 hectares and production is very small at just 5000 cases per year. Grape varieties are 55% Grüner Veltliner, 40% Riesling - there used to be Chardonnay but it is gone, we have some of the last worldwide and it is truly magical.

There are in fact two Leo Alzingers, Father and son, with Leo Junior having joined his Father in 2000 is now in charge. The third generation has a few years to go yet...

Whatever the generation, Leo Alzinger's wines are simply awesome. They are right up there with the very best the Wachau has to offer and deserve every bit of attention they get. The superstar status is well deserved, yet this remains a small family business embodying individuality and an unceasing quest for quality.

A mature Alzinger wine is a joy to imbibe, if somewhat hard to come by. Alzinger's wines are bottled quite late by Wachau standards, often in June or July, while the Wachau rules permit earlier release of Smaragd wines to the market on 1 May.

"I love all my wines with equal passion which I think is one of the reasons I have won awards with every single one of them. Having said that, I would really like to help make our traditional Fendant and Dôle (Gamay Pinot Assemblage) more fashionable again here at home. They are unique but taken for granted."

Robert Taramarcaz took over the small family wine estate in 2002 and has been winning awards in Switzerland ever since. Trained in Burgundy with a Master’s degree in oenology from the University Institute of Vines and Wine in Dijon. With research and a thesis on sweet wines he combines knowledge, craftsmanship and passion and it certainly shows in the bottles!

All the wines are excellent, from the Fendant to the superlative sweet wine, Polymnie. We started by chosing a small selection of personal favourites, a delicious Dôle, a crisp complex Heida, a dry Marsanne (one my soft spots and Robert's is excellent), and the two native blends "Seduction" wines, but now have most of his wines available. People who tried Euterpe at the launch of Wine Grapes haven't been able to forget it and now it is available with its red counterpart Terpsichore. Absolute masterpieces.

Around Sierre and Grange they have the driest climate in Switzerland with the Rhône creating some cool fog in the morning and often the warm wind Foehn (or the cold Bise) drying everything. They have warm dry summers and perfect mellow autumns. It might be in the heart of the Alps but they don't have problems with maturation, almost anything can mature here. People don't believe that it can be an oenologue's dream but it really is.

Robert grows both international and native grape varieties – "I'm very happy to have been selected as one of the first four Swiss winemakers for the Best of 2012, and I am very proud that 11 wines that we make from 11 different varieties made that selection. It shows how special Valais is as a winemaking region. Almost every variety can reach full maturity here."

"For an oenologue, I think the joy is to be able to craft a beautiful Pinot Noir. To be rewarded internationally for a Pinot from Valais, now that is brilliant. I have a soft spot for Pinot - a tricky wine, where people focus not on strength but elegance and finesse."

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OUR WINES ARE CHOSEN PERSONALLY ONE BY ONE.

  • Each wine will bring something distinctive to your table.
  • Even the rarities are chosen for your drinking pleasure first.
  • From the winemakers they love most back in their home country.
  • You should feel safe discovering our wines so we guarantee them (see FAQs).
  • No constraint: No minimum order. Buy just what you want, whether a single bottle or thirty
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