This was one of those visits, the winemaker spoke sense, he was modest, the place was lovely and the wines thrilled me. Our host, owner and winemaker Abri Brewer amused me from the beginning and I loved his attitude. “Customers are funny things”, he said, well, amen to that. “We make wine to drink, any left over we can sell to people”, he said later, so he does not find out what the market wants first then – music to my ears.
He also told us that he was not making commercial “flappy, floppy wines” and we have all had some of those, haven’t we? We tasted the range starting with their 2 Sauvignon Blancs:
Life From Stone 2005 which was stunningly mineral and stoney, while Special Cuvée 2005 was richer and slightly creamy. Both were superb, the 2 best Sauvignons of the trip to me and what amazed me was that in this hot area he had to remove acidity (does he sell it on to people who need to add?).
Wild Yeast Chardonnay was amazingly creamy, ripe,balanced and complex – quite delicious.
Then 3 vintages of Chardonnay Methode Ancienne, 1999, 2004 and 2005 all wonderful, mouthfilling, honeyed and rich yet fresh with lively acidity too, perfectly balanced wines with integrated oak.
His reds were even more exciting:
Barrel samples to be used in Work of Time, Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Cabernet Franc 2004 and Merlot 2004 were all text-book examples, they had mint where they should, cassis where they should, plums where they should, coffee and earth where they should together with fine tannins and concentrated fresh fruit.
Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 was a hedonistic delight, juicy and succulent while delicate and fresh with fine tannins – lovely right now.
Cabernet Sauvignon Methode Ancienne 1999 was rich and elegant while the piece de resistance was Work of Time 2001 a complex and fine Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot blend.
Abri decalred that “elegance is what you call thin wine that’s expensive.”
Well his are certainly not thin and they are not really expensive and I for one consider all his wines elegant.