Gaillac (South-West France)
The Gaillac region is undoubtedly one of France’s oldest, and fast becoming it’s most exciting. Leading the charge is Domaine de Brin, with a young gun winemaker and a revival of rare varieties. Damien Bonnet took over the family Domaine in 2008, his understanding of this environment is evident as he can reel off the smallest details of the surrounding 10 hectares.
He wasted no time gaining organic certification and experimenting with concrete and amphora to produce a natural style of wine, taking biodynamic principals and lunar calendars into the process. These were significant changes for Damien and his parents, moving the farm from selling to the local coop and polyculture; to bottling and selling their own wines.
South facing vines are finding their expression in calcareous and white clay soils. Sitting on the 285-metre plateau on the right bank of the Tarn river, Gaillac benefits of both Mediterranean and Atlantic unique influence.
Vineyard wise, Damien is using natural weeding methods, working the soil between the vines. When needed, they use organic fertiliser including horse beans and oats to enrich the soils. His aim for the vines is to obtain an equilibrium allowing a low yield of 20-35 hl/ha with healthy and perfectly ripe grapes. Each grape variety is manually harvested at its optimum maturation. The grapes are turned into wine using natural yeasts. The maturing takes place at a slow pace according to the rhythm of the seasons, in concrete and large format old oak that is an essential part of his winemaking style, along with minimising the use of sulphites.
The white Pierres Blanches displays hazelnut aromas with oxidative sherry-like notes.
La Vie en Rosé is a heady, aromatic showcase of strawberries, grapefruit, lychee, as well as blueberries and a lot of texture.
The medium bodied red Vendemia is ripe with crunchy tannins and notes of blackcurrants.
Amphore is very vibrant and bright with spicy red berries and pure velvety finish.
Red grapes: Duras, Merlot
White grapes: Mauzac, Loin de l'oeil
La Vie En Rosé