The most expensive Merlot in Switzerland: a family of vintners produces the finest wines in Ticino Castle

The most expensive Merlot in Switzerland: a family of vintners produces the finest wines in Ticino Castle

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The elegant driveway leading to one of the most famous castles of Ticino: Castello Luigi.
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Nicholas GreinacherEditor Wine DipWSET

I take the train to Mendrisio in Zurich on a cloudy and cold day. Luigi Zanini Jr. (50) awaits me at the train station in bright sun and springlike temperatures. A hearty “Buongiorno!” with greeting.

The Zanini family is originally from Lombardy. Luigi Zanini Sr. immigrated to Switzerland at a young age and built a wine trading and winemaking empire. But his biggest dream was to own his own castle in Ticino, live in it and produce wine on the estate.

In 1988 he found the perfect plot in the municipality of Ticino, Besazio. Inspired by the famous Château Palmer in Bordeaux, Zanini had his own castle designed. However, the building permit process took longer than expected.

And of the four originally planned towers, Ticino officials finally gave permission for two – better than nothing.

Breakthrough with 2007 vintage

After 1997, the first commercially available red wine vintage from Castello Luigi, the wine quickly gained a reputation as an insider tip. That changed overnight when Swiss wine guru René Gabriel gave the red 2007 crop the top rating of 20/20. A great honor not previously bestowed on a Swiss red wine.

While Zanini shows me the impressive, curving wine cellar filled with vintage Castello Luigi wines, I wonder if the legendary 2007 wines will also be unveiled during the next tasting. It will certainly be associated with a certain risk, because such high expectations are associated with this wine and one can almost only be disappointed.

Premium Burgundy white wines

Sitting at a table on the plush ground floor of the family castle, Zanini takes the cat out of the bag: “Today we will be tasting 2 white wines and 3 red wines. I thought it would be exciting to try wines every 5 years. For Castello Luigi Bianco this is the current vintage of 2018 and 2013, and for Rosso 2017 it is the current vintage of 2012 and 2007.» Bonus!

Both Castello Luigi Biancos are pure Chardonnays aged in oak barrels for approximately ten months. Production is small, only about 2500 bottles are filled per year. The style of both vintages reminds me of a warm, sunny vintage white Burgundy.

I really liked 2013: Intense aromas of wax, hazelnuts, ripe exotic fruits and honey are concentrated in the glass. The wine shows a creamy texture on the palate and is long lasting.

Legendary Bordeaux-style red wines

I will remember the 2017-2012-2007 red wine series for a long time. The 2017 gingerbread flavors are brimming with blackberry, coffee, dark chocolate and show great refreshment. Although you still have a long life ahead of you, you can drink this dream wine without a twinge of conscience (decanter recommended).

When I tasted 2012, the first thing that came to my mind was: Bordeaux. Equipped with very intense, powerful and engrossing tannins, this noble elixir convinces with its spicy, floral aroma and a full body. There are about 10,000 bottles of Castello Luigi Rosso each year, and the wine usually contains a small proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

Yes, the 2007 Castello Luigi Rosso is a Swiss wine legend. To claim otherwise is simply fraudulent. Intense aromas of blackcurrant, truffles, cigar boxes, cold black tea and blackberries meet with a smooth, plump body with abundant enamel and a very long finish. A Swiss dream wine for the history books.

150 francs a bottle of Castello Luigi wines? On the way back by train, I evaluate the subject as follows: If you are willing to pay such a high price for a red Burgundy or a white Burgundy, you should definitely give Castello Luigi a chance. Rare Ticino wines are also ideal as a gift for discerning wine connoisseurs.

Source : Blick



I am Dawid Malan, a news reporter for 24 Instant News. I specialize in celebrity and entertainment news, writing stories that capture the attention of readers from all walks of life. My work has been featured in some of the world's leading publications and I am passionate about delivering quality content to my readers.

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