There are lots of mineral salts in the soil which can usually be detected in the taste of this Swiss wine. What strikes the visitor most is how small each plot of land is. Only the bigger wine houses possess larger vineyards.
It is fairly obvious that mainly white Swiss wines will be made here on this chalk. Chasselas accounts for about 75% of these but there are also Pinot Gris, Riesling x Sylvaner (Müller-Thurgau), and Chardonnay grapes here which are increasingly successful. There are also some traces of Sylvaner, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer. The unique Pinot Noir is used to make red Swiss wines and the extremely pleasant Oeil-de-Perdrix rosé.
NEUCHÂTEL SWISS WINE
Swiss wines bearing this name are Chasselas. The best of them come from the villages of Cressier, Auvemier, Cortaillod, Boudry, and La Béroche.
The surprise of these Chasselas wines, which are lighter than those of Valais and Vaud, is their elegant tingle and salty undertones. The local wines houses pour the wine from a height which creates a slight sparkle that is often accompanied by a star of carbonic acid gas bubbles (le vin fait l’étoile). Drinking temperature for this Swiss wine is 8-12°C (46.4-53.6°F) depending on the quality: the better the less it needs chilling.
NEUCHÂTEL PINOT NOIR SWISS WINE
Pinot Noir from Neuchâtel is often fairly unyielding and high in tannin when young but becomes more mellow and amenable with age. The taste is fresh, elegant, complex, and fairly classical. Drinking temperature for this Swiss wine is 14°C (57.2°F).
NEUCHÂTEL OEIL-DE-PERDRIX SWISS WINE
The colour of this Swiss rosé is said to resemble the colour of the eyes of a partridge that has been shot. The brownish colour slowly disappears to become the pinkish orange that is characteristic of this rosé. Fortunately the taste of this Swiss wine is much more cheering than its name might suggest. It is an elegant and fresh Swiss wine from Pinot Noir. Drinking temperature for this Swiss wine is 8-10°C (46.4-50°F).
Other Swiss wines
Chardonnay from Neuchâtel is exceptionally good and at first glance resembles a good Burgundy. It is a first class aperitif. The other specialities are rather rare. Gewürztraminer Swiss wines are aromatic but not powerful, Pinot Blanc is light and elegant, Pinot Gris is superb, while the Riesling x Sylvaner (Müller- Thurgau) and Sylvaner are not always convincing. For the sake of completeness there is also a small amount of reasonable quality sparkling Swiss wine.