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Petite Arvine × 3

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Valais 2013, Petite Arvine, Nobles Cépages, Charles Bonvin ($38.00, 11339915)
Bonvin is the oldest estate in the Valais region. This 100% Petite Arvine is manually harvested and gently pressed. Fermentation and maturation take place in stainless steel tanks, with regular stirring of the lees. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: AOC & Cie.
Limestone, citron, whiff of herbs (or maybe it’s the rumoured rhubarb compote). Medium-bodied. Light and clear, the fruit tends to citrus with stone fruit overtones. Grippy acidity and tons of minerals structure while a touch of residual sugar and faint spritz round and lift. Long, clean, appetizingly saline finish. Elegant and complex, tense yet balanced, the most interesting of the three. (Buy again? Yes.)

Valais 2013, Petite Arvine, Grand Métral, Provins ($34.75, 11194963)
Founded in 1930, the Provins cooperative is Switzerland’s largest wine producer and the Grand Métral is their upscale line of wines meant for consuming young. This 100% Petite Arvine is fermented in temperature-controlled tanks. 14.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Sélections Fréchette.
Nose not unlike the Bonvin’s – lemon and quartz – though fruiter and displaying honey, floral and ramen-like umami notes. In the mouth, it’s rounder and richer, more glyceriney, though similarly possessed of high acidity that’s balanced by a little residual sugar and the fruit. Again, lots of minerals and a faintly saline finish. (Buy again? Maybe.)

Valais 2012, Petite Arvine, Valais d’Or, Maurice Gay ($33.50, 12319991)
No technical info on this wine that I could find other than that it’s 100% Petite Arvine. The grapes may come from the estate’s vineyards or they may be purchased. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: SAQ.
Rich nose of cantaloupe, sweat and candied lemon. Still rounder and denser yet also – surprisingly – more rainwatery. Less acidic too. The fruit occupies the centre stage, the minerals the background. Ends on a salted caramel note. More immediate than the Bonvin but with little of the latter’s tesnion, elegance or nuance. (Buy again? Probably not though several other tasters said they would.)

MWG March 12th tasting: flight 3 of 7.

Written by carswell

May 1, 2015 at 11:35

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