Friday, June 13, 2014

Jean-Marc Brocard

Nordalco recently invited me to attend a tasting of Jean-Marc Brocard with Mr. B flying over to Finland to present his wines. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend because I had to be at work, but Nordalco did kindly send a couple sample bottles.

First up was Jean-Marc Brocard Saint-Bris 2012 a screwcapped Sauvignon Blanc from just south of Chablis - so it's a Sauvignon from Burgundy instead of the Loire. Now, I should be upfront about my relationship with SB. I fucking hate it. It's painful. The entomologist Justin Schmidt came up with some pretty fanciful descriptions of pain (on a scale from 0 to 4) for insect stings. Going off the scale with 4+ points is the bullet ant described thus: "Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail in your heel." Sometimes I feel I'd rather experience the sting of a bullet ant than drink SB.

Having admitted my SB-phobia I have to say that this was almost tolerable - at least I wasn't lying on the ground in a foetal position whimpering after tasting it.

Day one: reductive. Day two: grass and chilli peppers. It's acidic, grassy and kind of dilute but at least it isn't a supremely fruity, NZ kind of style. My guess is that it's actually a pretty decent little wine for those who don't suffer from sauvignonblacophobia. But I am obviously not the right person to come to for a proper evaluation of a SB.

cute invertebrate of the day
Next up was Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre 2012. This was really nice. It wasn't under screwcap but was under nomacorc, which is nice. I like these alternatives that don't spoil the odd, random bottle of wine. Once again, on day one open, this wine is ungiving and reductive. On day two it's very enjoyable: honey and minerals and still a slight hint of that wet-wool I got on day one. On day one it tasted of acidic water; on day two it fleshes out. But crucially, it doesn't become round and fruity. This stays a proper Chablis with beautifully lean fruit and high acidity. I like this style of Chablis. Brocard may not be as thrilling as e.g. Thomas Pico, but I was impressed by this one. And I remember being impressed by a few of their other 1er Crus before. But if drinking now, give it a day or three of air.

Full disclosure: these were sample bottles sent to me by their importer, Nordalco.


ilbe said...

Nah, you just hate the commercial yeasts that they use and/or SBs that are made in climates where the grapes won't achieve phenolic ripeness until the alcohol levels get crazy (for the variety). The proper non-fruity, extremely flinty and more or less austere style of SB is quite nice!

Geshtin said...

I'm actually not even so fond of the Loire ones. I prefer the ones that don't taste like SB at all because e.g. botrytis.