Robert Taramarcaz, Granges, Valais Marie-Therese Chappaz' fantastic wines
"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."
I'm very impressed with your service and will certainly be ordering more wine in the future. Having made several visits to Austria in the last few years, I've acquired a taste for their wine which, apart from Grüner Veltliner, is hard to find here. I was really pleased when my sister passed on your details. Although I'm only just tasting my second bottle, the quality is excellent-makes me almost imagine I am back in my beloved Tyrol!
It was the first time I have ordered from Alpine Wines and I just wanted to say that I found the unexpected follow-up call a very nice touch. I am also pleased to report that it was the winning wine for our Austrian evening at our very informal wine club!
As a half-Swiss I know what distinctive, quality wines Switzerland can produce. Until now, the problem has been locating them in the UK, since the demise of the Swiss Centre in Leicester Square many years ago. Keep them coming!
PS: I would like to see, and taste a pinot noir or two from the Germanic region - very distinctive from Burgundy, but more importantly from the lighter, thinner Germanic pinot.