Domaine Donatsch, Unique, Malans, Graubünden, Switzerland 2013
Outstanding: rated in top Pinot Noirs outside Burgundy in April 2016 issue.
Rich and powerful cherry-pie nose, with the oak well integrated. Deliciously chewy from fruit and extract rather than tannin. Shows matching brightness to just the right amount of depth. Domaine Donatsch, Unique 2013 shows considerable potential.
Price UK £70 Alpine Wines
Pinot Noir is grown successfully in the Valais, but there is another sweet spot for the variety in the German-speaking Graubünden canton. Here, some 70 miles southeast of Zurich, lies the village of Malans, home to Donatsch and other growers. Donatsch gained a high profile early, when it became the first producer in the region to age wines in barriques, in the 1970s. The domaine has been in existence for about 100 years, and is now run by Thomas Donatsch and his son Martin. Although only 4.5ha of vines are planted, a number of varieties are grown. The mid-range Pinot Noir Passion is aged in one-third new oak, while this, Domaine Donatsch, Unique 2013, the most exclusive bottling, is aged entirely in new Burgundian barrels. Donatsch has twice won the Mondial des Pinots competition in Switzerland.