2015 Valentin Jakob Schiess, Aspermont, AOC Graubunden Jenins, Switzerland.
The wildly intriguing Aspermont by V.J. Schiess is a Swiss Pinot Noir done in a Ripasso style, similar to what you see in Valpolicella with the fresh wine going through the Amarone pomace (used crushed grapes), here Schiess runs his very late picked Pinot Noir over the pressed dried Gamaret grapes. Gamaret is a hybrid grape created by crossing Gamay and Reichensteiner, itself a early ripening white grape related to Muller Thurgau, it was developed especially for French Switzerland in the early 70’s, and Schiess makes one of his top bottling from it, and while I didn’t try it, I did get a chance to taste this rare and unique Pinot Noir. I took my first sip blind to the fact that this was in fact 100% Pinot Noir, run over the pomace of the Amarone style Gamaret, and at first you get a real spicy/sweet note with dried roses, cinnamon, blueberry and framboise, but once on the palate you get the Pinot Noir fruit coming through with dense black cherry, sugar plum and strawberry, as well as hints of fig, mocha, snappy spices and raspberry tea. The texture is rich, satiny and seductive, made more interesting in the fact that this dark and opulent wine saw no wood, it was raised in stainless steel, it’s depth and silky layers is all from the fruit, it is not sweet or raisiny and at 13.5% it is finely balanced and detailed with stylish length and elegance. You can understand it, if you think outside the box, and especially if you’ve had Valtellina Nebbiolo and or well made Valpolicella Ripasso, and without thinking too much, you can just enjoy the pleasure and hedonistic allure it offers, as far as I know V.J. Schiess is not imported yet or widely available, though I did see a few websites offering it, so sadly it will not be an easy get, but it is a very cool wine.
(€24 Plus Shipping-$42 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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