Wine tasting at Chateau La Brie, Monbazillac
It may be four months since we got back from our trip to Bergerac, but I still haven’t written up all the wine we tried out there yet! Don’t worry, this is the penultimate one from France this year, I promise. We stumbled across Chateau Le Brie whilst out cycling one day. It was particularly interesting as it is a lycée viticole, or wine school, teaching people the tricks of the trade in growing and producing their own wine. You may think that this could affect the quality, but not a bit of it! They clearly don’t teach people to produce bad wine in France.
Chateau la Brie, 2014
At 5.30 EUR a bottle, this is easy on the pocket but big on flavour. It has a big nose – heavy on savoury tannins – but is surprisingly light in the mouth, with hints of cassis and a touch of very faint oak (unsurprising this is only very faint as the wine is so young). It has an extremely light finish which is still complex and hard to identify. A really easy to drink wine which will pair nicely with game meat in particular, like rabbit.
Chateau la Brie, 2012
This merlot and cabernet sauvignon blend has aged for 14 months in the barrel and it’s 7.50 EUR price tag reflects that. It has a deep complex smell where the dark oak comes through and is much more tannic and full bodied than its younger compatriot. There is a slight whisper of fruit sweetness that comes through, but only on the finish. An interesting, deeply coloured wine.
Cotes de Bergerac, 2011
This is the one you want to take home if you get the opportunity to visit la Brie. 10 EUR a bottle and worth every cent, it is a hand harvested merlot grown on old vines and made in new French oak barrels. It has a really deep colour and is complex on the nose with new oak blending with a slight smokey smell, a touch of spice and maybe even nuts in there. In the mouth it is big and well balanced with a pleasant tannic drying at the back of the mouth. Those nuts come through again with a touch of heady cocoa and earthy, mushroomy flavours blending together to produce a truly superb combination.
Cotes de Bergerac, 2013
100% semillion gives a fresh, honeysuckle blossom scent and this really develops in the mouth. It is not over-poweringly sweet though, but is still light on acid with floral flavours and a dash of honey and lemon. It melts away in the mouth – a short, fresh finish which has an interesting peach character. A great, light match for chicken salad or similar dishes I loved this easy going wine.