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Cave Caloz, “La Mourzière” Humagne Rouge

Valais, Switzerland 2014 (750mL)
Regular price$50.00
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Cave Caloz, “La Mourzière” Humagne Rouge

In the rare and thrilling instances when I find myself holding an open bottle from Swiss master Conrad Caloz, I’m reminded of the first time I tasted his wine. I was completely blown away. Some wines—the truly exquisite ones, at least—do that to you.
First, you become infatuated with the wine; then you become obsessed with researching its backstory; then you’re desperately trying to acquire more bottles. Ultimately, it becomes part of your “wine DNA” and you simply have no choice but to pull out your credit card every time you encounter a bottle. My list of such wines is short, and currently weighted toward Burgundy, Piedmont, and the northern Rhône. Today’s Humagne Rouge from Conrad Caloz is the single wine from Switzerland on that list, and it is truly one of my favorite reds on the planet. Granted, it is neither value-priced nor from a widely recognized appellation, but I implore you to surrender any reservations and take a chance on what I consider one of Europe’s great, and truly singular, reds. Furthermore, it is extremely rare, with only one US retailer listing it in inventory (and it is sold out). This wine is a genuine, handmade masterpiece.
[NOTE: This wine is only available as a pre-offer and will be shipping from our warehouse Monday, January 28th]

Conrad Caloz farms a tiny collection of parcels in Switzerland’s Valais region. His village, Sierre, is hidden in the shadow of the snow-capped Alps. It’s an immensely challenging climate for growing grapes. Conrad’s brilliant and beautiful daughter, Sandrine, studied organic viticulture and together they are among the few local families careful and dedicated enough to work without chemicals. The tall grasses and wildflowers in their vineyards stand out—this is a special property in every way. Today’s wine is 100% Humagne Rouge (a.k.a. Cornalin in Italy), from hand-harvested grapes that are pressed in the basement of the family’s small house. Following fermentation, the wine is aged over a year in a 600-liter Rhône-style demi-muids before a final year in bottle. Conrad bottles very little of the wine each vintage, of which less than 24 cases export to the US. 

Caloz’ 2014 Humagne Rouge “La Mourzière” leaps from the glass with a powerful alpine gust of chewy red and black fruit, a meaty mid-palate, and a mosaic of floral, herbal and mineral aromatics that places it firmly in my personal “best of” European reds lineup. Drinking this wine is an immersive experience—I can actually smell mountain flowers and feel the steep, crumbling stone of the Caloz’ vineyards in each sip. This is a wine that has a lot to say, so I urge you to pair it with a simple, classic dish like roasted beef loin with sauce béarnaise. Decant the wine for at least 45 minutes while preparing the meal, and if you have access to any of this winter’s wild mushrooms, dry-sautée some in a cast iron pan before finishing with a little butter and salt. Serve the wine at 60 degrees in large Burgundy stems. I’m confident it will be a perfect companion to your meal, but be warned—you too might become infatuated with the wines of Caloz!
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