View Full Version : Can you please pass me the Brett ?
03-13-2011, 02:19 PM
I'd be happy to read people comments about what we call "brettes" in France, or Bretts (Brettanomyces) in english ? Well, most likely, more people do not identify it, but it is interesting to know if people like that taste and flavours of smoked meat, earthy flavours (when Bretts turn quite positive) or sometimes smells like stables or wet dog (when they turn more negative)...?
Coming from a natural yeast, it is not harmful, and tends more and more to disappear, but it used to be quite common less than ten years ago still (predominantly in low-acidity but high alcohol wines). So,...do you like it or not ?
03-13-2011, 06:38 PM
Brett's a little like fertilizer, in more ways than one. In small amounts, in certain wines, it adds complexity. Too much and it just makes the wine DNPIM.
03-13-2011, 11:37 PM
I was told by a Swedish MW that every wine that has aromas of stable, leather, or meat is brett, and that in wineregions such as Rhône and Bordeaux, the winemakers would like to have a tiny bit of it to ad complexity and it's a natural and old taste in the wines. Sometimes, often during times of hard ship and crises, it have been a bit out of control, and the wines are too "infected" and the flavours go out of hand.
03-14-2011, 10:46 AM
Hi Philippe... How are things in Bordeaux? Will I be seeing you when I am there in April? I told Bill Blatch to send my best when I saw him in Los Angeles last week.
As for Brett, it's not a quality I want in Bordeaux wine. I prefer cleaner aromas and flavors. But I do not mind it in Chateauneuf du Pape, when it's in moderate doses. The barnyard smell can add some complexity. I find it appears often in Pegau and Beaucastel. But in Bordeaux, for example in 1990 Montrose, to me, it takes away from the experience. What do you think? Do you like brett in wines?
03-14-2011, 03:07 PM
I'm with Jeff on Brett. A little in Rhone wines can add some interesting elements but I prefer it not be there for one huge reason: you can't control brett. You can keep the wine in an extremely cold cellar but the way brett blooms in bottle in so unpredictable. One bottle may show just enough to add something while the next will show so much horsey/barnyardy characteristics as to be offputting.
03-14-2011, 05:01 PM
How about Talbot and Gruaud Larose in the Cordier era? Was that brett or something else? Whatever it was, a lot of those wines were outstanding, not in spite of their funkiness but in part because of it. It added a welcome complexity. At least to my palate. I have friends who considered those wines as DNPIM. Chacun a son gout.
03-15-2011, 12:32 AM
Referring to what I wrote above, there is some brett in all Medoc Bordeaux according to some experts, as leather or stable aromas is never found in the grape itself. I love Gruaud Larose and Talbot, and do not find them having more brett than say Montrose or Meyney, and it ads in complexity. It's rare to have a Bordeaux with too much of these aromas I find, at least now a days. In Rhône some wines of lesser quality is like sticking your head into cow dung, they smell, and often taste horrible. That is definitely a fault.
03-15-2011, 01:29 AM
Hi Jeff, hopefully we'll cross our paths somewhere ! Pls try to join our Vintex tasting on Sunday 3rd ?? We'll show our range of "petits chateaux" here, which is always a good way to have a global idea on the vintage by tasting lesser wines !? And a bunch of top-journalists will be there with us... And we can join the Guiraud-Chevalier-Canon Gaff buffet in the evening, if you like ? What's your program ?
Globally, I agree with you for bretts : I don't really like it...but know so many people who do !! I feel it brings something artificial to the wine, and I better like them clean and pure. Many wines in the Medoc used to be very "brett-addicted" in the past, but this is less and less the case now, mostly because of better hygiena now. And I also agree it is less troubesome with Rhone wines as it certainly better goes with the (spicy) character of those wines.
03-15-2011, 06:44 AM
I like a bit in my wine, maybe more than most. it can not be controlled. It will bloom at warmer temps which are beyond the control of the winemaker. dangerous stuff.
03-15-2011, 03:03 PM
Thank you, Loren, and that's interesting to read you pretty much like it... Now, I'm not a technician, but I would not say "it can ot be controlled" ? This is a natural yeast indeed, but good hygiena in the vineyard and cellar are first steps to prevent it, aren't they ? Can we have Mr Stephane Derenoncourt here ?? :-)
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