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WINE OF THE WEEK: Domaine de Bréseyme Brézème Côtes du Rhône 2017, France

£22, The Wine Society

I'm getting in early with this because when I tried to recommend the 2016 it had sold out (Wine Society members clearly know a good new thing when they see it). If you tasted the 2016, you'll know that it was northern Rhône-style Syrah at its most bewitchingly pure, perfumed and peppery. The 2017 is equally delicious, but more opulent – more Cornas, perhaps, than Côte-Rôtie – although both are a comfortably moderate 12.5% abv.

The 2017 opens with a wave of blackberry, raspberry and violet-scented fruit, follows with ripples of iodine, white pepper and the herbal spiciness of fresh bay leaves and sits on a bed of soft tannins. The nut-sweet oak is a just little more prominent than in the 2016, but the latter was nine months older when I tasted it. Both were aged for 15 months in 2–3-year-old barrels (and were whole-bunch vinified).

To give this glorious wine its context, Brézème Côtes du Rhône is a tiny appellation (one day it's bound to be standalone Brézème) lying to the south of the northern Rhône. It's very much northern Rhône in spirit, with Syrah as the red grape variety and Marsanne, Viognier and Roussanne for the even tinier production of white wines, but its soils – clay-limestone – are very different. Domaine de Bréseyme was bought by Nicolas Jaboulet in 2018 and has 3.5ha devoted to red Brézème and 0.5ha of white. Happily, there is more land available for planting.

The 2017 can be drunk any time over the next five or six years with lamb, peppery steak, game birds, the likes of saucisse de Morteau, diot de Savoie and Italian sausages, sweet root vegetables or wintry casseroles. I enjoyed it with Gressingham duck, spiced squash purée and puy lentilles.

Domaine de Bréseyme Brézème Côtes du Rhône 2017, France


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