Hell’s bells

Following a thread on a wine discussion forum about the yeast known as Brett, I decided to open this. Brettanomyces is a yeast used for making beer, and when it infects a wine it results in the wine having all sorts of dirty, filthy and arsehole-y characters. Some people think it is responsible for bottle variation when ageing, some people don’t like the aromas it can cause whereas some people think it can be alright in a wine (in varying degrees). Bandol, made from the grape Mourvedre, is a famously Bretty wine and I have said in the past that [link2post id=”1569″]Bandol smells of arseholes[/link2post]. I opened this wine because when visiting my beloved Domaine Tempier, the producer I own most wine from, to try the 2001s it appeared their new winemaker had cleaned their act up a bit and there was not a whiff of arseholes around. The alcohol had also been pushed up since he took over.

Bandol Cuvée Spéciale 2001, Domaine Tempier

Hell’s bells, man! This is fifteen percent! It is very dark. The nose smells of dark, very ripe fruit. It also smells quite a bit of alcohol. It is a bit like a slightly herbal port. Not much filth at all on the nose, oddly clean. The palate is very big and concentrated, with very ripe fruit flavours. It is also fiercely tannic with a great whack of acidity in it. I don’t really like these booze-tastic monsters, they get very hard work, but I think this will be very nice with the sausages for dinner tonight. I also think it would make very interesting old bones; no distracting Brett characters will help it age more uniformly too. Much as my moderate and reasonable side wants to point our the sheer scale of this wine, the hedonist in me says this is fun, balanced but above all good.