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« Reason #1 Why Wineries Should Blog | Main | A Ten Buck Counoise from Crush »

07 October 2005

Dear Huge,

Dear Huge,

Look, I know we disagree on whether or not the presence brettanomyces is always a fault.  I respect your taste, really I do.  You prefer wine that is reminiscent of fruit.  Of course, seeing as how you are Californian, I would expect nothing less.  But here’s the deal: I discovered a lovely French wine from Corbières.  Sure the label is written in French and has words inscribed on it that would intimidate Joe Sixpack.  However, it’s a nifty wine, and I really want you to try it.  “Why?” You ask.  Well – hmmm.  How should I put this?  It’s got a bit of brett.  And I think that’s a good thing.  Please don’t put this letter down.  Keep reading.  It’s also got fruit!  You like fruit, right?  Hooray fruit!  Not only does it have fruit, but it also has tomato!  Well, not literally (but you know that).  This wine has scents of red cherry, tomato, uhh… anise (but only a little bit), cedar (just a hint), and, hmmm, a smidgen of funk.  OK Ok – you might call it manure or barnyard, but I like to think of it as funk.  It makes me feel all soulful and whatnot.  So I think you’ll like it – really.  Look, if you don’t like this wine; I’ll buy you the biggest, fruitiest glass of Cabernet you can think of.  So what do you say?  Be a pal.  I just know you’ll enjoy it.  Heck – I halfway expect you to start composing odes to rustic vin from the Languedoc.  And nothing would make me happier.  I’ve got a beret with your name on it.  Just give me the word and I’ll send it to you; along with one of those French sailor outfits.  Ahh huuh huh!

Your Ami in Wine,


CastelmaureThe Skinny
Castelmaure Corbières Grand Cuvée, 2001 ($20)

  • Made from Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan
  • Rusty ruby in color with a definite copper rim
  • Scents of anise, cedar, red cherry, tomato, and…..funk
  • Medium bodied in the mouth with slight tannins.  A very dry wine with tart fruit flavors and a subtle, lasting finish
  • This wine makes me want to sing, “Let’s spend the night together.”  (not that I’m suggesting anything) (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

**** (4 stars out of 5)


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I'm going to sit back and enjoy watching this develop...


I have this same bottle in my cellar - I almost opened it last night. Aww!


Huge knows my tongue is firmly in my cheek. Don't you Huge? Huge?

Jack - I read a few tasting notes on the 01 that were written about 12-18 months ago. They indicated that the oak was a bit strong. I, however, found it to be rather mellow and integrated. Let me know what you think when you crack it open.


hey beau... nice one defending the funk though I don't believe Huge will change his perspective much (though he does write very well).. what about the acidity?.. i find most southern french wines age deplorably, going head first into that porto, cooked fruit thing...i'll look for the bottle.


The Caveman speaks!
Perhaps I've got a defective palette; but I do love me some cooked fruit aroma. Actually I've had good luck with the last two Southern French wines from 2001 that I've tried (this one and a C.d.Rhone Villages: )

They both were definitely entering the twilight years. However, they had enough acidity to kick back any porto-type heaviness. If you find the 01 Castelmaure, give it a try and then tell me if my taste for funk is unnatural :)


I'm not sure I've ever been able to identify brett specifically...only because I've not had someone say "hey...that smell is brett" when we taste together.


It's a little bit mushroomy, a little bit funky (for lack of a better term). Some say it's like barnyards or manure. And hey, when you break the word manure down, it's really not all that bad. You've got a 'ma' - which is good and a 'newer' which is just fine..


Sorry Beau - Not ignoring you, just too damn busy this time of year what with grapes ripening and all (hadn't seen your email or post until just now). I'll try to pick up a bottle tonight and get back to you.....




Think dirty diapers - a smell that (to me) says "don't eat this".

All in good fun, Beau....


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