One of the not too rare grape varieties from the Alps is Petite Arvine. Mainly grown in Switzerland, and here in the Region of Valais. Some can be found in neighboring Val d’Aoste in Italy. At least two Domaines in France grow the Petite Arvine as well, the famous Aimé Guibert of Daumas Gassac and Hildegard Horat of Grange de Quatre Sous, both from the Languedoc region.
Petite Arvine wines are said to age good with a nice acidity and the telltale mark of salty taste. Definitely a grape variety with a future, as can be seen by its growing influence in the Valais vineyards: 1991 saw just 39ha which by 2012 had risen to 166ha.
The Vinery Serge Heymoz – Cave les Sentes has been founded in the 1980s in Sierre. Sierre being one of the middle sized wine producing villages of the Valais. Apart from Valais classics like Chasselas and Pinot Noir Serge cultivates other indigenous grape varieties like Rèze or Humagne Rouge. The wines are VITIVAL-certified.
On the nose: different types of grapefruit, starting with white then moving to pink and ripe. Also butter and honey.
On the palate: Light residual sugars, tending to off-dry. Soft acidity with light salty finish. Grapefruit aftertaste which gets underlined by light bitter note.
Later grapefruit gets company from these little spanish green peppers.
It was quite surprising to see this soft white wine in a really fruity way after 5 years in bottle. No oxidative notes, even though it lacked acidity. There are still 5 bottles lying in my cellar. I think we might see those pop up here in this blog again.