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Chateau Brisson (375ml), 2015, Cotes de Castillon

Red, Old World, Merlot based blend from Bordeaux, France

Full of dark fruits and tannins so ideal with rich roasts such as root vegetables and lamb (preferably hogget).

Why we recommend this wine
We are keen on the Cotes de Castillon area having visited it some time ago – see our trip notes here). This is a good example of what we found there and a great vintage in the region.

The wine
Matthew Jukes (a well know wine critic) wrote “I did a genuine double take when, steaming through a raft of dreary samples, this wine popped its head up. There is nothing to suggest on the label that this 85% merlot, 15% cabernet sauvignon blend would be anywhere near as exciting as it tastes. There were two clues which might have triggered my interest; the superb, full-flavoured 2015 vintage and the Castillon region on the Right Bank of Bordeaux, which I am, secretly, very keen on.

Brisson is only five years old but it is bursting with ripe, fruits-of-the-forest notes and there is a glossy, slickness to the palate which I adore. Leave your expensive clarets in the cellar and crack on with this terrific wine because it is sure to put a smile on your face.”

There you have it. The day before this article appeared the importers had 10 dozen. When we placed the order on Monday morning the next week there were only 6 dozen left and we bought the lot.

The wine estate
Château Brisson is situated in Belvès de Castillon on the north bank of the Dordogne east of Saint-Emilion. Since 1980 the property has been owned by Paul Valade and comprises 18 hectares of mainly Merlot vines which average 30 years of age. Paul works with his son Cedric. The Valade family founded their wine business in Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux (formerly Côtes du Castillon) way back in 1878 with Château Brisson and Château Le Peyrat. Since then, five generations have managed the estate, the latest being Paul and Lorette Valade who have been doing so for the past thirty years. The Valades have a well-earned a reputation for being masters of Merlot. Harvesting is done by hand. Yields are kept low and are strictly managed and everything possible is done to enhance the biodiversity of the soil. Winemaking includes pre-fermentation maceration at cool temperatures, gravity flow transfer, gentle pneumatic pressing and so on. The wines are aged in French oak barrels.
Couldn't find their website despite a long time on Google.

Food and wine
Full of attractive acidity and blackberry fruits. Fine tannins which are just now beginning to soften. Ripe flavours and a supple texture on the palate, with the added element of oak ageing to give complexity. Ideal for decanting an hour before serving with red meats, especially the classic Bordeaux dish of roast lamb. In case you were wondering what hogget is, it is lamb aged between one and two so it is tender but full of flavour.
Refer also to our food and wine pairing guide, click here

Did you know?
All down the right bank of the Gironde estuary and the Garonne river (that is, north of Bordeaux) are vineyards specialising in Merlot. The two most famous are St Emilion and Pomerol whose wines attract eye-watering prices. Outside these two areas are many others that produces fabulous wines at a fraction of the price, Cotes de Castillon being one of them.

  • Cutlivar

    Merlot based

  • Dry / Sweet

    Dry

  • Oaked

    Integrated oak

  • Closure

    Cork

  • Alcohol ABV

    Above 14%

£9.95

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