Swiss 'icon' wine Electus could be a hard sell

Stephen Brook reports back from the first UK showing of 'icon' Swiss wine Electus, made by Provins.

Electus

Very little Swiss wine is exported, so for most of us it’s an unexplored territory.

As a regular visitor I have been particularly impressed by wines from the Valais, which is rich in indigenous varieties. Now the largest producer in that region, Provins, has created a project to create an ‘icon’ wine from around 4 hectares of the 1000 it owns.

Called Electus, it’s mostly composed of local varieties such as Humagne and Cornalin, the remainder being Bordeaux varieties and Syrah.

Aged entirely in new oak, it’s an ambitious project, and to launch the wine Provins organised a blind tasting of the 2010 vintage in which Electus was sampled alongside eleven prestigious wines such as Léoville-Lascases, Angélus, Cos d’Estournel, Sassicaia, and Ornellaia.

I put the wine in 7th equal place, noting its toasty black-fruits aromas, its sleek texture and ripe tannins, and long balanced finish; but there was a slight lack of depth. When all tasters’ scores were totted up, it emerged in 4th equal place, an honourable result.

The wine is destined for the export market, and – here’s the bad news – the approximate retail price will be around £200 per bottle.

The wine’s quality and the bold pricing may make the impact Provins hope for, but it’s not certain that the wine world is ready for another pricy ‘icon’ brand from a little known country.

Stephen Brook

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