Hohle Gasse

002Urs and Regula Jauslin are local growers from Muttenz whom I’ve heard about in recent years on account of their wines garnering awards in Swiss-organised competitions such as the Grand Prix de Vin Suisse and the Mondial du Pinot. I take accolades such as these with a pinch of salt because, basically, they are only as good as the line-up of competing wines – which usually looks a bit lopsided depending on which country, which publishing house or whoever is holding the tastings. Nevertheless, both of the above competitions are fairly prestigious in their respective context. This, the Jauslins’ latest Pinot Noir Hohle Gasse, picked up a gold award at last year’s Mondial du Pinot. Was it any good?

Jauslin, Pinot Noir, Hohle Gasse 2013, Muttenz, AOC Basel-Landschaft
Very dense ruby with a violety rim belying the wine’s youth. Stemmy and herbal with a slightly alcoholic whiff to begin – which, however, gradually beds down with air. Then going in the direction of forest fruit hints. Almost brambly. Some 72 hours later, some floral (violet) hints are emerging, along with a suggestion of raspberry. There are mineral notes too. And mushroom. Ultimately, what we have here on the nose is a balancing act between overriding dark (brambly) elements on the one hand and berry fruit on the other.

Quite chalky on the palate,  packing quite a punch with the same predominantly brambly characteristic (dark berries and black cherries) plus raspberry serving as a counterpoint. Beautifully integrated barrel notes. This of course is a youthful wine that still needs to find its feet – still very firm and obvious in its fruitiness, but with more than a soupçon of the complexity that lies underneath. On the third day, the main impression I have is that of a wine that is firm and masculine in nature, built for the long run (as so it should). The acidity is still a touch on the ungainly side, but this merely backs up my hypothesis.

So yes, in short, I can see why this did so well at the Mondial du Pinot. And as for its potential, well …