Cave des Tilleuls

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Fabienne Cottagnoud has an unusual passion for the land and dramatic geology that surrounds her in the town of Vetroz. Reveling in the layers of schist, gneiss and granite, she strives to capture the nuances of the mineral soils of her vineyards. Listening to her or her husband, Marc-Henri, wax poetic about all that nature provides them, it is easy to fall in love with their way of life, sustained by local foods, cheese from their cow, and the wines from their cellar.

Working with the indigenous varietals of the Valais, the Cottagnouds are traditionalists, yet they also manage to push the boundaries with their wines. They experiment with their vinification to unlock the potential of each varietal, going so far as to produce a Jura-style Vin Jaune of Amigne, the marquee grape of the Valais.

Fabienne is responsible for the vinification of the wines and Marc-Henri manages the vineyards. This couple takes a holistic approach the production of their wines and the favorable climate that surrounds the Valais provides great advantage to organic farming as this spectacular region is blessed with abundant sunshine and moderate rainfall.

Cave-des-Tilleuls-Fendant Fendant de Vetroz Grand Cru: One of the more sensitive varietals to terroir, this Fendant offers a lens for mineral concentration around the village of Vetroz. Dry and crisp, it marries perfectly with shellfish or hard cheese. Fendant, known also as Chasselas, can lose its character rapidly if allowed to be too productive. Careful vineyard work is critical to a high quality profile.
Cave-des-Tilleuls-PETITE-ARVINE-fdc Petite Arvine Reserve: A racy bouquet draws the nose into this expressive wine, which is at once rich and harmonious. A dry finish hints at a saline quality, suggesting that this wine be consumed with food. Aging in barrel prior to bottling enhances the aromatic profile. The Arvine is recognized for its frequent savory reference to citrus-based flavors, often characterized as zest of grapefruit.
Cave-des-Tilleuls-AMIGNE Amigne Grand Cru de Vetroz: An impressively powerful wine made most often rendered by the Cottagnouds in a Demi-sec manner, the typical notes of honey and nuts play nicely with a hint of sweetness from the fruit. A rich wine that is best consumed after a few years in the cellar. The Amigne grape is found almost exclusively in the village of Vétroz. Note the indicators of level of sweetness: the symbol of one honey bee indicates a dry version, two bees denote the demi-sec (8 to 25 grams of residual sugar) and three bees represent the ultimate in late harvest with levels of residual sugar in excess of 25 grams.
Amigne Grand Cru de Vetroz “Reserve”: The Reserve cuvée of Grand Cru Amigne spends two years in barrel prior to bottling and does not undergo malolactic fermentation. It is a generously rich wine, but with a certain lift on the palate that leads into a pleasantly lingering finish. This, too, is often rendered in a demi-sec style with a modest amount of residual sugar. The crisp acidity that is a constant element of this grape variety helps to balance the wine and provide, despite its richness, a dry, mineral-infused finish.
Cave-des-Tilleuls-AMIGNE-Fletrie Amigne Grand Cru de Vetroz Flétrie Grain Noble ConfidenCiel: From mature vines located in the most desirable plots around Vetroz, this is a singular wine by any measure. Often harvested as late as February, it is concentrated on the vine by botrytis, offering a rare intensity. After vinification, it spends 22 months in oak barrels. The result is a viscous wine with notes of fruit and honey, which Fabienne suggests should be enjoyed with blue cheese. To qualify as “Grain Noble ConfidenCiel”, the wine must be presented at a tasting and approved by the participating members of this group that abides by a strict set of regulations and sets a high standard for acceptance.
Cave-des-Tilleuls-PINOT-NOIR-FUT-DE-CHENE Pinot Noir de Vetroz: The Pinot Noir finds a home in the Valais and it has long been part of the wine scene there. Often blended with other grapes, frequently Gamay, as part of the Dole classification, on its own it can be a compelling wine the character of which is distinct from its Burgundian cousins. Dark fruit and cool acidity follow a nose that exudes Pinot Noir typicity. On the palate, a sense of raspberry and cassis lead to a finish that asks for another taste. Here, the Pinot of Cottagnoud doesn’t carry the earthy, truffled quality one finds in Burgundy; rather, it expresses the fresh and racy mountain climate.
Pinot Noir Grande Reserve: Aged in oak barrel, of which a third is new, the Grand Reserve is a rich wine with a lot of potential. Deep and complex, this wine mimics Burgundy to a degree, from its similar vinification treatment to its size but it remains a quintessential wine of the Valais with its more blueberry and herbal aromas and flavors.

Humagne Rouge Grande Reserve: The Humagne grape variety is a difficult one to grow to maturity. The fruit for this wine is normally harvested towards the end of October and this extended growing season allows the grapes to develop character in a slow and measured way. An intriguing rustic sense suggests the wild nature of the peaks around this vineyard. This is a rugged wine that, we believe, will prove its worth over time as a unique and satisfying expression of the particular terroir of the Valais.

Switzerland’s Liquid Assets: Wines of the Valais

Wine & Spirits Decades of high tariffs kept the country’s wine producers from exporting abroad. But at long last, Swiss bottles are popping up on menus and merchants’ shelves. By Anthony Giglio on February 07, 2017 Any adventurous skier who has the temerity to take four cable cars from the Swiss resort village of Verbier

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