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No. 36

Brilliant prospects

«Perfume, fine glassware, wine... Silvio Denz accentuates the beautiful sides of life and invests in sensual luxury. We have been allowed to offer you a glimpse into this world exclusively in this magazine. Denz has supported our business idea from the beginning. As a sign of our long-standing friendship, he gave away his castle reserves for Flaschenpost. We were absolutely thrilled at the wine tasting – a glamorous offer from a friend at a special price!»

Dominic Blaesi & Renzo Schweri

Founders

Bottle of Réserve du Château AOC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé from Château Faugères

Awards

James Suckling: 95/100, Robert Parker: 92/100, Falstaff: 94/100 points

«When tasting, time stands still because you surrender completely to the magic of contempla-tion.» – Silvio Denz

Treasures from the cellars of Château Faugères

The first money Silvio Denz ever earned was by catching mice. He was paid 20 centimes per mouse, and on good days, the ten-year-old earned 14 francs. He didn’t spend his wages on candy, but saved conscientiously. The money is still in his savings account, says the successful, but down-to-earth businessman. Today, Denz still goes hunting in cellars – but his sights are no longer set on mice, but on exquisite wines. In 2005, he fulfilled a dream by buying Château Faugères in Saint-Émilion. Denz has a fine nose, and not only for wines. In the 1990s, he turned his father’s perfume business into a success – thus laying the foundation for his extraordinary career. The Swiss entrepreneur’s particular strength lies in tracking down forgotten jewels and making them shine again. Be it the Alsatian glassmaker Lalique, which he polished up from a dusty traditional company to a luxury brand, or his real estate business in London, where he buys dilapidated mansions in prime locations, fully renovates and resells them. And at Château Faugères, Denz had a new wine cellar built by Ticino architect Mario Botta. Since then, the wine world has spoken admiringly of this «cathedral of wine.» At the same time, the entrepreneur pulled out all the stops to bring his château up to the Grand Cru Classé quality level. He achieved this milestone in 2012, turning the unassuming Château Faugères into a modern Bordeaux icon.

Awards

James Suckling: 95/100, Robert Parker: 92/100, Falstaff: 94/100 points

Bottle of Château Cap de Faugères La Mouleyre AOC Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux from Château Cap de FaugèresBottle of La Chapelle de Lafaurie Peyraguey AOC Sauternes from Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey

Awards

La Chapelle de Lafaurie Peyraguey AOC Sauternes 2017 - James Suckling: 93/100 points & Château Cap de Faugères La Mouleyre AOC Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 2015 - James Suckling: 94/100 points

Where the heart beats and time stands still

Silvio Denz first became a winemaker in the 1990s. Together with friends, the Swiss entrepreneur acquired a Spanish winery. «But that was more of a hobby,» he says in retrospect. Since his youth, Silvio Denz’s great dream has been to own a château in Bordeaux: «This is where the heart of wine culture beats; this is where the best wines in the world are made,» he says enthusiastically. After his success with Château Faugères, he bought Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey in the famous Sauternes appellation in 2014, where he added noble sweet white wines to his portfolio. In this historic château, he not only runs a winegrowing business, but also an elegant hotel. The busy entrepreneur also cherishes the Bordeaux region as an oasis of tranquility. He loves to wield the wooden spoon and to invite his wine enthusiast friends to philosophize with him about great vintages. When tasting, time seems to stand still, «because you surrender completely to the magic of contemplation.» However, he can’t stay in the country for more than a few days. He then finds himself drawn back to London or Zurich, where life pulsates and bustle reigns – because this is where Silvio Denz feels completely at home.

Awards

La Chapelle de Lafaurie Peyraguey AOC Sauternes 2017 - James Suckling: 93/100 points & Château Cap de Faugères La Mouleyre AOC Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 2015 - James Suckling: 94/100 points

Bottle of Dido Montsant DO from Venus la UniversalBottle of Martinet Bru Priorat DOQ from Bodegas Mas Martinet

«The winemaker of Venus»

Sara Pérez makes lovely and beautiful wines

In 1981, a motley group of idealists, eccentrics and academics moved to the forgotten Priorat wine region. Josep Lluis Pérez, a biology professor from Barcelona, was the leader of these «wine hippies.» His daughter Sara was nine years old at the time – and she didn’t think it was such a great idea to move from the city to a deserted, rocky valley. But these pioneers were convinced that the tiny grapes that grew on the narrow terraces would produce wonderful wines. They were proven to be right: Today, along with Rioja, Priorat is considered to be one of the best wine regions in Spain. «Until I turned 18, the only thing I thought about was how to get away from here,» says Sara Pérez. She found salvation in studying biology and philosophy. It was only when she moved to the city that she learned to appreciate wine and realized how much she missed the rugged and beautiful natural setting of Priorat: «I came back, because I love the landscape.» Today, she runs the Mas Martinet winery where she grew up. She has also been running the Venus winery, which she founded in 1999 and which, although only a ten-minute drive away, is not located in the Priorat region, but in the Montsant region. In the beginning, Sara could usually be seen wandering through the vineyards with a baby in a sling. A fitting image, because the winemaker and mother of four wanted to usher in a new, more feminine era with her wines. It was a success and today she is one of the most influential women in Spanish wines.

Bottle of Zarihs Syrah DO Campo de Borja from Bodegas Borsao

Awards

James Suckling: 91 points, Wine Spectator: 91 points, Guia Penin: 91 points

«Exceptional quality for this price range»

Zarihs combines the best of both countries

Zarihs? Try reading that backwards. Does it ring a bell? In a manner of speaking, this pun is the shortest version of the story behind this wine. However, because there are some surprises involved, we’d like to tell the story in greater detail. This wine is a joint project between the Spanish winery Bodegas Borsao and the Australian star winemaker Chris Ringland. This down-to-earth, witty and somewhat shy oenologist is exceptionally talented: he has created a number of iconic Australian wines over the past 30 years, which has earned him the nickname, «the Grand Master of Shiraz,» among others. Ringland considers Shiraz – which is called Syrah in Europe – to be a «magic grape» that always offers new possibilities. So naturally, he was thrilled when José Luis Chueca of Bodegas Borsao approached him to work together on a project in Spain. With Zarihs, Ringland has succeeded in fusing the two styles, combining the softness and opulent fruitiness of Australian Shiraz with the freshness and spiciness of European Syrah. The wine soon became the talk of the town and has consistently received high ratings from both Robert Parker and James Suckling. Chris Ringland, the oenologist from «Down Under,» has turned Spanish Syrah on its head. We say: Olé, mate!

Awards

James Suckling: 91 points, Wine Spectator: 91 points, Guia Penin: 91 points

Bottle of Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico Collezione Pruviniano from Cantina Valpolicella Negrar

«All I Want for Christmas is You!»

Amarone and Christmas – the perfect pairing

An Amarone goes with holiday meals like ornaments on a Christmas tree. No other red wine conveys such a contemplative holiday atmosphere. After all, Amarone is a statement of opulence, elegance and love. It features intense and varied aromas, skillfully balancing sweet fruit with a powerful backbone. This makes this wine the ideal companion for prime cuts of meat. Pressing an Amarone is a matter of the heart. First of all, only the very best grapes are selected. After harvesting, these grapes are dried for a few months – until around Christmas. During this process, the grapes must be carefully turned by hand again and again. This process concentrates juices of the grapes, which explains the intensity and power of this wine. Finally, the wine is aged for several months in oak barrels. Whenever you want to offer your loved ones an exquisite wine, this special wine from Verona is the perfect choice.

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