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DSC_0019 2The wine estate is legendary in the Swiss wine scene. For many years, Hans Ulrich Kesselring cared for and managed the estate with its forest, meadows and vines above Weinfelden - in the family since 1784 - with a great sense of tradition, but also in an effort to embrace modernity when it seemed better to him. Then he passed away unexpectedly, leaving his nephew Johannes Meier to take over the business overnight. A difficult legacy. But he made it - together with the oenologist Ines Rebentrost. His wines are again among the top in Switzerland. And the inevitable "eternal" comparison with the wines of Kesselring has stopped long ago, Johannes Meier is the new lord of the estate and he and his team are making excellent wines, just as good as his uncle once did. This "Clairet" is actually a Bordeaux blend, a cuvee of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The term Clairet is correct, but also confusing. In England, Bordeaux is still often called "claret" - in the old tradition - while in Bordelais, Clairet is understood to mean a pale, rosé-like red wine from the region. To say it in advance, it is not the best wine of the wine estate, this is not due to the skills of the team, but to the fact that the Cabernet Sauvignon is difficult to produceDSCN4901 Cabernet Sauvignon is difficult to ripen in our latitudes and the Cabernet Franc is a difficult companion. I have harvested it for years (in small quantities) in the Bündner Herrschaft - Weingut Von Tscharner - and I know about its caprices (at least in our area, in our climate and in our soil). We are here far more north of Bordeaux and the Loire and cannot count on the Gulf Stream. So I don't quite understand why the excellent team at Schlossgut has to dabble in the Bordeaux blend as well, when Pinot Noir is their real forte. Wonderfully Swiss Burgundian, that is - for me - the great label of the winery. Four times Pinot Noir (No. 1 - 4), from the plain (but excellently made wine) to the top wine (No. 4), which is only made in good years, in very small quantities (which is why it is rare). The Clairet does not come close to these filigree top wines. It is very appealing, soft and round, but it lacks the fine differentiated aromas, the nuances that (can) make a good wine a great one. Maybe it's a bit unfair if I "nag" here, maybe it's just the accumulated prejudices (Bordeaux blend is tried almost everywhere today) and the urge to mainstream, which is hard for me to understand. In any case, I drank the wine for the first time and - I readily admit this - with fun, even with pleasure in drinking. Nevertheless: the wine is not great, but also not too Bordeauxized - much more a fun wine, still too young (it can therefore definitely still increase), but not enough independent and distinctive (price 34 CHF), to buy at the same price (ex farm) as the Pinot No. 3, which I prefer to all other wines of the winery - even the whites.

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