Domaine de Brau in a Modern South France

Vineyard outside the fortified city of Carcassonne, South France




Domaine de Brau...
A modern operation outside Carcassonne in the Languedoc region. They speak humbly of themselves, promoting organic, responsible farming, with simple ideas of quality and environmental winemaking. Their 40 hectare vineyard grows grapes from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhone, and a couple native's, totalling around 20 unique bottles per vintage. Their climate is largely Mediterranean, with warm, dry summers days and cooled evenings. The soils are loose, chalky, and loamy with sandstone beneath.


The 2010 Fer Servadou...
It starts with a beautiful brick red colour, a prelude to its light body. Highly aromatic, the nose speaks dramatically of floral perfume and a dry, herbaceous earthiness.  Lean acids open to a smooth feel with a kiss a rhubarb tartness. The fruit is kind, but not generous, reminiscent of under-ripe black cherry. The label writes "Floral, smooth & complex", and I couldn't disagree. Apt for light fare, soft cheese, or by its lonesome. 

F
inding quality, lightweight wines of balance and interest can be tricky in the fruit & body driven market of Calgary, so this Fer really stands out to me as noteworthy... and mouth watering.

On the grape...

Hailing from the southwestern wine regions of France, most notably the AOC's GaillacMarcillacand Béarn, it is almost always blended. Also known as FerPinenc, Mansois, and Brocol. From French, "fer" translates to "iron". The grape is so named for its unusually hard, "iron like" vine stock that becomes particularly difficult to prune and trellis as it ages. Interestingly, in contrast to this example, I read that Fer is most often noted for a full, fruit-rich body, as well as the perfumed quality.


The 2010 Pinot Noir...
Completely disregarding the French trend for pinot. It shows plush, jammy qualities, red and black, from cherry to berry to cassis, balanced every step of the way. Big but not flabby… just dedicated, and 100% delicious. Easily comparable to Californian renditions of twice the price, this is a BIG crowd pleaser.




The wines of Domaine de Brau each go for $22.90 off the shelves of WineInk on 17th ave.

Also available is a straight Egiodola (translated "true blood"), another southwest-France oddity, fathered by Fer in fact. In
tasting, I noted 
deep colour, a strangely mentholated scent, and a wine showing density, plumy fruit, and plentiful tannin.



January 2012