Thursday, March 11, 2010

St. Hubertus Chasselas

After all the "involved" entries of late - Olympics, visitors, Oscars - it almost doesn't feel right to just blog a bit about a wine that Boo and I sipped on during dinner and a bit of TV. It seems as though there has to be more.

I think I'll just be thankful that I might be able to catch up a bit on all these wines and treat this more as a wine blog than a Facebook page. For now, anyhow.

The good thing is that, easy wine at home or not, I do get to add another varietal to my Wine Century Club application with this bottle.

391. 2007 St. Hubertus Chasselas (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Chasselas isn't a varietal that you see much of - even in BC's cooler climate regions. It is a white varietal that, classically, produces a delicate - if somewhat neutral - wine. As a varietal, it is seen as one that has been around for a very long time. Some sources believe it dates back to the Egyptian dynasties.

Nowadays, it is most notably grown in Switzerland, although it is also made into wine in Baden (Germany) and in the Loire (France) where it is blended with Sauvignon Blanc to make a "lesser" wine, Pouilly-sur-Loire. Chasselas is also the most commonly grown table grape in France - enough of a reason, according to Jancis Robinson (one of the world's most acclaimed wine writers), for the varietal to also be the "most despised" grape in France for wine making.

When tended properly, Chasselas can produce quality wine however. In fact, the varietal is one of the signature wines for St. Hubertus. It is probably no suprise though that the winery's owners, brothers Andy and Leo Gebert, originally hail from Switzerland. Indeed, John Schreiner, quotes them as saying that they wouldn't grow the grape if it weren't so closely identified with their homeland. They even export some of their Chasselas production to the Alps.

For the moment, Chasselas isn't too likely to become my favourite white varietal, but I'd be interested in trying another bottle to compare it with some of the other Germanic white varietals being grown in BC.

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