From: Gaillac, South-West France
Blend: 65% Braucol (aka Fer Servadou), 35% Syrah
Taste: Fresh flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry, black plum, and fig wind themselves around a core of graphite, finding a lithe balance with the wine’s rustic features of spice (think pepper and tarragon) and earth. This is a deliciously concentrated yet light wine with refined tannins and a freshness that sticks around and invites contemplation and a bite of something savory. We recommend chilling slightly to enjoy all its rustic, juicy goodness.
Pairing: This versatile bistro red from the SW of France is the best of all worlds. It’s an opportunity to experience a responsibly made, uncommon, authentic red wine from indigenous varietals that’s also delicious! We love enjoying this alongside foods commonly found in this part of France, like truffles, wild boar, and veal. But we also highly recommend savoring this red with friends and pairing it with everyday fare in Seattle. Charcuterie and fromage boards, pâté, Rillettes, homemade burgers (lamb/beef/bean, they all work here & we’re sharing a recipe for lamb burgers below!), takeout asada tacos, gyros, kebabs, pork sliders, grilled sausage and polenta, and stuffed mushrooms are all great places to look for inspiration.
Spiced Lamb Burgers
By Mark Bittman
About. Domaine de Brin is located on a plateau surrounded by an oak forest on the right bank of the Tarn River in Gaillac. Young winemaker Damien Bonnet and his parents transitioned from selling their family’s grapes and crops to a local co-op to bottling their own wines in 2008, and they wasted no time gaining organic certification. Driven by his belief that good quality wine depends on the good health of the vineyard and its surroundings, Bonnet follows organic principles and natural winemaking practices.
Bonnet has chosen to maintain polyculture on his family’s land, growing chickpeas, lentils, alfalfa, malt barley, wheat, and sunflowers in and around the vineyards. Maintaining an environment conducive to diverse animals, insects, fungi, and plants plays an essential role in the richness of the soil. Other practices include the grassing and sowing of green manure in the vineyards during the winter and tilling the vineyard rows before the summer heat.
The privileged location of the estate on clay-limestone hillsides and plateaus offers a diversity of terroir, favoring great complexity in the wines. Regarding vineyard management, Bonnet employs multiple manual and mechanical operations throughout the year to obtain airy, healthy, and ripe grapes. Pruning, disbudding, and deseeding, according to Poussard principles, respect the flow of sap from the vine. Their vineyards lie 290 meters above sea level and sit on premium south-facing slopes with clay-limestone soils.
This wine. This cuvée is called “Anthocyanes,” which translates to anthocyanins in English. Derived from the Greek anthos (flower) and cyan (blue), anthocyanins are the molecules responsible for the pigment found in black and red grapes (and other leaves, fruits, and flowers found in nature). These complex molecules can change throughout the winemaking process depending on a host of factors and can have diverse impacts on a wine’s final color, flavor, and profile. It’s no wonder that this blend of Braucol (which also goes by Fer Servadou and a host of other names in the South-West) and Syrah—two varieties with pronounced levels of anthocyanins—became something of a meditation on the subject for winemaker Damien Bonnet.
The Braucol and Syrah grapes that went into this blend came from separate plots harvested by hand when they reached the ideal balance of sugar, acidity, and maturity in the vineyard. These grapes were de-stemmed and fermented in tank using native yeasts, with gentle pump-overs during this period to extract color and flavor. Then, the wine was aged for four to seven months, partially in used barrels and partially in concrete, for optimal roundness and complexity. It underwent natural clarification without fining or filtration and saw very low levels of sulfur before bottling.
Curious about Gaillac? Check out more, here.
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