Andrew Guard

2017 Brouilly, Georges Descombes

Georges Descombes has, once again, produced a sensational Brouilly from his superb, steep sloped parcel opposite the Mont Brouilly. 2017 is a classic cruchy, sapid style following the lustrous and richer 2016 vintage. This wine has a very alluring,  fragrant bouquet - a bright and floral nose offset again by red cherry and cranberry fruit. In the mouth it is divine, tightly wound with taught elegance, a refreshing mineral bite and fine definition. On the finish it’s juiciness is offset perfectly buy a refreshing, stony finish. Once again the granite soils of Brouilly have given this wine a sublime gravelly crunch. Superb drinking

I am excited to finally have the wines of Georges Descombes in my portfolio. He is the unofficial 5th member of the famed ‘Gang of Four’ (Marcel Lapierre, Jean Foillard, Jean-Paul Thévenet and Guy Breton) who shook things up in the late eighties by returning to the old practices of viticulture and vinification: starting with old vines, never using synthetic herbicides or pesticides, harvesting late, rigorously sorting to remove all but the healthiest grapes, adding minimal doses of sulfur dioxide or none at all, and disdaining chapitalization. Their wines have become world famous and each has his individual style.

In the winery, he uses very little (or no) sulphur and eschews filtration. Where his style differs from his peers is that he leaves the must to undergo cold carbonic maceration for a whole 30 days. He then ages his wines for around a year (in barrels for the Vieilles Vignes) prior to bottling. Further extended ageing in bottle helps these natural wines to stabilise and develop. The resulting wines are amazingly fresh and mineral whilst having the structure to age.