I can never, ever pass up a wine from a grape or country that is new to me. So, when I saw the 2009 Cave Caloz Cornalin Les Bernunes from Valais, Switzerland on the shelf at Philly’s 12th & Chestnut state store, I couldn’t resist. Cornalin? New grape for me. Switzerland? New country for wine for me.
The wine cost $38, but I had to get it.
We opened this wine after dinner, to drink while watching the Six Million Dollar Man (Thank you Cosi TV!).
It turns out this was a good idea, because the wine neither wanted- nor needed- food. That isn’t to say we didn’t have food, but Chewy Sweettarts don’t really count and don’t really add anything to most wines. In fact, they make most wine taste perfectly dreadful. Fortunately, I knew to taste the wine before having the Sweettarts.
Les Bernunes is a juicy, medium/light bodied wine with light acid and light, soft tannins. I taste bright, ripe, blueberries and cherries, white pepper, and a field of wild herbs: particularly lavender and mint. The finish is good, but a bit short. Overall, I would appreciate some more structure, but I love the flavors.
Now for the big question: How did it pair with the Six Million Dollar Man?
This was an early episode, pre-moustache. Steve Austin is a bit suave, like this wine. He is not so muscular as he is structurally-sound, like this wine (and a Swiss watch). Of course, Steve Austin’s structure has some non-bionic parts that often get hurt, like his head. Similarly, this wine has some flaws – mainly in the backbone (but I am not calling Colonel Austin cowardly!!!). It would be nice with a bit more acid and tannin (clearly this gentleman and I share a similar palate…)
The second big question: Was it worth $38?
It was absolutely worth paying the money to try it, but there are better deals to be had. I found the wine’s gestalt to be a bit like a Friulian red, but with less structure. So for my taste, I might spend the money (or less money) on Refosco or Schioppettino – 2 of my favorite grapes – instead. If your taste goes more toward Gamay – then this is definitely for you. If you are curious about wines, and like to try new flavors/countries/styles/grapes, etc., I definitely recommend trying this one.