Brett in France 2006
Brett has now completed several vintages in this unique corner of South West France, working primarily at ‘Domaine de La Pertuisane’, and latterly at 'Domaine Eternel'.
Brett treats it very much as a 'back to basics' experience. Here's a quote from a reflective e-mail Brett sent to Gregg a few days after arriving in in Maury this year:
"II am beginning to understand why I am always drawn back here. In Australia the emphasis has been increasingly on 'cleverer' techniques, and focusing on well-known grapes, for which drinkers have very clear expectations on bouquet, palate and mouthfeel. The 'rules' are well established. Paradoxically here, at the ancient heart of wine, everything seems more visceral, the grapes wilder and less compliant. and as a winemaker it's a pretty liberating experience. The old vines here are a truly awe-inspiring example of nature's bounty".
This year in Maury Brett was focusing on a "Cuvee Speciale' which was the result of a unique collaborative effort of three winemakers:
- Mark Hoddy formerly of ‘Domain de La Pertuisane’
- Elsa Lejeune of 'Domaine Eternelle'
- and Brett Snelson of A&S.
The wine, produced from grenache, carignan and syrah will be released crediting all 3 winemakers at some point in the future. Comprising grapes from 80 to 130- year old vines, expectations are high. Watch this space...
Chateau Grand Riguad (St Emillion)
Chateaux Grand Rigaud Puisseguin- St Emillion
For the first time this year Brett felt up to the challenge of a vintage in one of the Old World's legendary apellations: St Emillion's Puisseguin, in the heart of Bordeaux.
"Grape-wise I am on much less familiar territory here in Bordeaux, with the Merlot and Cabernet Franc (although there is some Cabernet Sauvignon). But the wine styles here are of course an inspiration for the kind of elegance we strive for at A&S. They are supple and rich, encouraged by the soils of clay limestone and scattered sandstone".
Twilight over Lake Arcachon after a remarkably unsuccessful day fishing
ABOVE: Brett getting his hands dirty in St Emillion
St. Emillion also in the midst of a superb oyster region and Brett ventured out by boat several times to match local wines with the stunningly fresh and flavoursome seafood.
Something to wash down the Foie Gras and baguettes!!
Fresh oysters straight from the farm on Lake Arcachon
ABOVE: Brett clearly spending too much time in the sun