Exploring Signuradi Pinot Part 1: The Adolecent Entry Level

Signuradi? What …? Co din ins quai per englais? Difficil! Apparently, Grisons Lordships!?! Betg idea! Correct? Well, let’s stop my pretentious and deeply pathetic attempt to socialize with the native language of Girsons. The Rumantsch Grischun speaking south-eastern canton of Switzerland! In the coming weeks I would like to familiarise you guys out there with a fair amount of the Pinot Noir spectrum of the Bündner Herrschaft (aka Signuradi). Probably another pathetic attempt. This viticulture area might be small (approx. 400 ha), but a few post won’t be able to give you a comprehensive view on local Pinot anyway! Whatever, substance wasn't and won't be and will never be the strong suit of this very blog anyway. No change here then ;-)

With my first post I’d like to give you a few tasting notes of young entry level Pinot Noirs from three renowned wineries. In the forthcoming weeks there will be more to come! As you already may have realized – no background education in this Wine-Zeit zone. The author is lazy by nature after all! At least today! Only this: 80%-Pinot Noir land (besides some minorieties of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sylvaner x Riesling, Completer and a few others), average elevation of 500 m, warm Alpine chinook wind climate along the Baby Rhine River, predominantly limey schist soils and a longm, old wine growing tradition (Pinot Noir since the 17th century).

Weingut Christian Hermann Fläscher Pinot Noir 2010

Rather murky and obscure (I hope it wasn’t the glass) bright red colour. Not really vivid, a bit discoloured and pretty viscous. In the first hours the bouquet showed a vital and strong potpourri of bright red berries, mostly slightly cooked strawberries and a for Grison Pinots not so scarce mild infusion of lemon. Strong and raw smoke and a few resemblances of incinerated tires evolved after a while, too. Over the hours and the next day there wasn’t so much of a substantial change. The taste was light, not really elegant, very vivid, not overwhelmingly complex – but not simple either - and highly fruit oriented (voluminous and fresh strawberries). Besides that the acid seemed really strong,  showed quite a lot of fruit sweetness and a not very easy-drinking portion of smoke. Mineral characteristics were not that expressive or highly existent. With the hours the Fläscher Pinot Noir gained more substance and balance. However elegance, distinct floral lightness or profound mineral character weren’t the strengths of this Pinot. Very fresh, clear, precise and expressive fruit it surely was! Evidentemente Pinot Nero (concerning its typical characteristics)! To me a decent **** and nicely spoiling Pinot Noir!

Weingut Bovel Fläscher Pinot Noir 2010

The colour of the Bovel was very radiant, full of life, crystal-transparent and at the same time much darker than the Hermann. The nose was highly unusual! It was very lively and packed with tonnes of cassis and huckleberry fruit flavours enriched with strong eucalyptus. The fruity character seemed very creamy - ice creamy - and mildly sweet. Very powerful and almost slightly irritating fruit, I guess! A very intriguing nose indeed! The taste was equally fruitful, but in a more integrated and less intense way. Besides the elaborate fruit I tasted flavours matching marmalade'ish fruit, Christmas’y spices, smoky ham, hints of milk chocolate and the already avowed fresh lemon aromas. The alcohol was okay. Could have been a bit better integrated. Again a very fruitful and not so mineral or complexity driven Pinot of decent **** quality.

Mattmann Cicero Weinbau AG Churer Rheintal
Pinot Noir 2009

Mattmann’s Cicero entry level Pinot Noir had a lush and clear bright ruby red colour with already rather distinct discolourations on the rim. The nose was very perfumed, had a lot kiddy-like candy attributes, showed plenty of fruitful scents like hollander and cassis combined with strong eucalyptus + musk aromas. A very interesting, lively, animating nose and for Pinot Noir highly unusual nose. The taste was very much alike. A lot of fruit, children cough syrup attributes, not so much depth, quite a lot of spice, a rather cool style (effected by the eukalyptus impressions?) and not really influenced by boiled fruit. One very big problem though! The alcohol (14,2%)! Unfortunately it was very strong, tart burning - down my gullet into the tummy - and overall very present. On the second day this impression eased a little bit. However this influence diminished a lot of harmony in this so la-la *** Pinot Noir and made it a bit complicated to cherish.

Summary Part 1: Apart of the Hermann, very unique and a bit peculiar tasting Pinot Noirs – to be frank not very Pinot Noir’ish to me - with a lot of vital, mountain stream clear and intense fruit flavours, good length, fair complexity and not so much of mineral thoughtfulness. A few alcohol issues and elegance shortcomings, too! Looking forward to the next Pinots!


Anonymous said...

Some months ago I had the chance to taste the 'bigger' labels of Christian Hermann's, named 'Reserve' and 'H' (I guess). I mean, I really like the pale and seemingly lightweight Pinots since I think that they will keep well & even improve over time, especially compared to all those fruit bombs. However, 70 Euros for the 'H' is a bit tough, I think. I've bought Andrea Davaz' Fläscher Pinot Noir instead for around a quarter of the price. Haven't tried it yet, but perhaps you'll do exactly that in your parts 2 or 3 (don't know how many you've still left ;)

Oh Dae-su said...

Hi Matze,

in a couple of weeks I'll have a few “upper” and “middle” class Pinots from 2005 (including a Hermann's Reserve). Looking forward to that, however I do confess, I have mixed feelings about these Bündner Pinots. There are plenty of oak and alc issues around (in these ones where no oak problems at all, but alc – a lot). For sure there is good and unique stuff around. However the prices are pretty steep. As you already wrote. Even the entry level is relatively expensive (these ones 23 to 28 CHF). For sure in some cases the prices get highly questionable, like the “H” from Hermann, and other not mentioned but very popular names ;-). I really look forward to those aged ones. I never had such “old” Pinot's from Grisons so far.

Ahh, Davaz, check out this (a bit very short note):