Jean-René Germanier Humagne Rouge, Valais, Switzerland: A Taste of Something New

Oh. My. Goodness. This wine has everything I love in a red wine. It’s an unusual variety from a country and region that is unfamiliar to me and the flavor profile is right up my alley. 

2017 Jean-René Germanier Humagne Rouge, Valais, Switzerland photo
2017 Jean-René Germanier Humagne Rouge, Valais, Switzerland

2017 Jean-René Germanier Humagne Rouge, Valais, Switzerlandlight ruby in the glass with aromas of red cherries, raspberries and cranberries along with wet iron. Similar red fruit flavors of raspberries, cranberries and pomegranates combine with gravely earth and hints of white pepper and dried herbs in a medium-length finish. Tannins are fine and drying in a medium body. Fruit flavors are fresh and bright with juicy acidity that leaves me salivating. 13% abv. SRP $36

Winemaking notes are sparse for this wine, but the importer, Schatzi Wines, notes the grapes were grown organically. The wine was made in and aged for 10 months in stainless steel. The 2017 vintage had a disastrous start for the Domaine with heavy frost that destroyed 40% of the crop. The remaining crop, however, benefited from a hot summer that resulted in harvest two weeks earlier than usual with concentrated flavors.

Domaine Jean-René Germanier Balavaud is one of the oldest wineries in Switzerland and was founded in 1886. Urbain Germanier made his first wines in 1896. His sons later assumed winemaking responsibilities and the winery is now managed by Jean-René Germanier and his nephew Gilles Besse.

Humagne Rouge originated in the Valle d’Aosta region of northern Italy, just across the Alps, where it is called Cornalin d’Aoste or Cornalin. The variety is now most widely planted in the Valais region of Switzerland.

The Valais region follows the Rhône River in the southwest of Switzerland across the Alps from Valle d’Aosta and Piedmont. The glacial valley is warm and dry with a mixture of soil types. The region produces one-third of Swiss wines.


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