A Northern Rhone Syrah with a difference, was how this Brézéme from Eric Texier was described to me when I collected my bottle, and it proved to be the case. This bottle was purchased by my Wine Club for our members, so that we could have a Zoom Tasting Session, whereby we all had the same bottle, and we duly had the tasting last night which was an interesting way to do it.
The winemaker was unfamiliar to me, being less of a francophile than many, but I was aware that the wine was made with love and affection as Eric Texier has a reputation for putting his soul into his wines. They are organic, biodynamic, with the very minimum of sulphur added, which certainly made for something a little different.
My initial reaction to the wine was how dark and forebodding it appeared on pour, and a certain whiff of vegetal coming from the glass. I had opened the bottle around 20 minutes earlier, and in hindsight it probably needed a decant, and a longer aeration. But, once I stuck my nose in the glass (I wasn’t using my tasting glasses), beyond the vegetal there was a very pleasant fruit aroma coming through, dark fruits, blackberry, blueberry and plums.
But the palate was to disappoint. I go back to my lack of aeration, but while there was strong acidity, the fruit wasn’t as prevailing as the nose had lead me to expect. yes, there was fruit there, but the earthyness registered higher with my taste buds, and the tannins weren’t balancing everything out as can often be the case in a great wine. The aftertaste left a little be desired too, with a yeasty bitterness leftover in what was quite a short finish than I would normally expect with a Northern Rhone wine.
It was interesting how others in the Club described their own experiences with the wine, and as we all have different receptors that can often give us a different view of a wine, others may have a different view.
Overall, I was disappointed in the wine, as I had been expecting more, and while I can understand what Msr. Texier is trying to do, for me it just wasn’t working, and I don’t think I would be seeking out again. The general consensus of the Club was similar, with the added question as to how this might develop in the cellar over time. The other caveat I would have would be that different vintages would have a different profile, as 2017 was not the best of years in the Rhone Valley weather wise.