You're exploring Amigne Pinot Blanc, Weißburgunder, Fehér Burgundi, Pinot Branco, Pinot Bianco – many names for the same grape depending on where you find it.
Amigne is grown around the village of Vétroz in Valais, Switzerland, and pretty much nowhere else on the planet. Very rare, very versatile, very delicious!
There are only 18 authorised growers in the area. For this reason it is often referred to as Amigne de Vétroz. The name ‘Amigne’ is derived from the Latin ‘amoenus’ meaning enjoyable or delicious.
From the Romans onwards there has been much debate as to the origin of the grape. Nevertheless, it is grown on terraced vineyards made up of glacial moraine and black schist which help provide Amigne with its unique character.
The wine made from Amigne ranges from bone dry to syrupy sweet, including Amigne flétrie made from grapes left to shrivel and concentrate on the vine.
When it comes to residual sugar, there is a system introduced in 2005, not unlike the putonya system for Tokaj wines. For Amigne they use Bees (Abeilles) which indicate three levels of sweetness with three Bees being the sweetest.
Pinot Blanc is a mutation of Pinot Gris, itself a mutation of Pinot Noir. On the vine it looks remarkably similar to Chardonnay. It is usually made into dry or sparkling wines but especially in Austria can make some excellent early Trockenbeernauslese. On the nose it can be floral or perfumed with hints of apple and sometimes tropical fruits. The fruit remains on the palate and there is a much longer finish than you might expect from a white wine. Of course the sweeter wines incorporate qualities that you might expect from that style.
I have asked winemakers a few times why they chose "Pinot Blanc" or "Weissburgunder" and whether they were for marketing or cultural reasons. Usually the answer has been "It looked better on the label that way".
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!
I initially found Alpine Wines in a search for a good source of eisweins, which they certainly are. However, having bought a number of other wines from them as well, I have been truly delighted by the quality of the wine as well as their advice on the website and over the phone. Pretty much everything I have ordered has been a hit, and I'm rather picky. Excellent service and an excellent selection, most of which you will not find anywhere else. Truly unique. I will keep shopping here for the foreseeable future.
We primarily drink reds so my expectations weren't high, but it was amazing! I bought the wine for it's sentimental value, but now I'm lamenting the fact I didn't buy more when given the opportunity. I want to say Thank You once again for the amazing service. It's something that we don't experience enough of in our current world.