After my first full week of 2017 visits – see the happy, smiling, faces of the producers above – I returned home for a little relaxation: First there was my 10km Saturday morning jog from Lauterbrunnen up to Mürren with 960 vertical metres of climbing! Whilst my finishing time was my best for 3 or 4 years, my iron will cracked after 30 minutes and nearly 400 vertical metres, from here I alternately jogged and walked for 2 minutes at a time – actually, when it’s this steep, ‘marching’ is probably not much slower than jogging! I know it was only my head, because after 25 minutes of this, as I neared the Winteregg station, I, of-course, ran without problem for the remaining 30 minutes – why ‘of-course?’ Well, here were people walking who would have seen that I wasn’t running – so it was clearly all in my head, not my legs!!!
I met my better half in Mürren and a really excellent rösti for lunch was my first recompense – views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau in the sunshine from our luncheon-terrace my second!
Post-lunch we walked for a little over an hour to the cable-car at Grütschalp, but en-route, just past Winteregg, we came upon a gathering of a couple of hundred people – forming a human chain and passing cheeses to one another – well, this is Switzerland!
This was the yearly Chästeilet or ‘cheese-sharing!’
Of-course we had to ask what the chästeilet was! Apparently all the farmers that have cows on this alp between May and September regularly bring their milk to this cheesery (käserei) – it is weighed so that at the end of the season the farmers get the equivalent in weight in ‘mountain cheese’, less whatever is the cheesemaker’s commission. This was the day – the first Saturday in October – that the farmers all come to collect their cheese – mainly round cheeses of 10.5 to almost 12 kg, but also some square ones – apparently for the raclette machines!
On this Chästeilete day the casual visitor couldn’t buy any cheese, but I assume every other day of the year you can buy some cheese here.
A cool tradition that we just happened upon…
Then, of-course, there were some wines over the last days:
2015 Coudert, Brouilly
Plenty of colour, yet modest for the vintage. The nose has drive and a little freshness – more than expect for the vintage and place. Yes – lovely – fresh, open yet with line and vivacity and energy to the flavours – a little dried fruit, raisins, in the middle. Open, succulent – nearly juicy – only modest weight but simply delicious wine. Bravo.
2017 Lambrays, Rosé du Clos
The recent 2014, despite its lovely colour, seemed a bit passed its best, so further investigation was required! This nose has certain freshness of fruit – unlike the cheesy-feet of the 2014 – a sweetness of melon and red fruit. In the mouth there’s good volume and a modest density and richness of freshly delivered flavour. Tasty wine – not particularly special for a rosé but a good rosé. Nice wine. It seems that it pays to drink this young – it’s not that badly priced from the wine-shop in Morey St.Denis – €15…
2015 Albert Joly, Puligny-Montrachet Les Charmes
Vines on the border with Meursault, because of that this wine always tastes more like a Meursault to me, particularly in 2015…
Wide, ripe fruit, almost golden in style. Mouth-filling, a hint of steely minerality before the mouth-wateringly ripe fruit starts to take over. Not a wine of tension despite the balance, but certainly something that is very easy to drink indeed. Always delicious, never very Puligny…
2015 Blain Soeur et Frère, Côte de Brouilly Pierre Bleue
Deeply coloured. Beautifully, fully, cherry-berry-fruited with an accent of coal. Mouth-filling volume, a good line of flavour that slowly decays in a mouth-watering style. A good freshness and clarity of fruit in the middle and it holds well in the finish too. Excellent wine, that’s well-textured and delicious.