Chateau de Brau PURE Viognier 2016
I was at first attracted to the wines of Chateau de Brau when I stumbled onto their website a year ago. Proprietor Gabriel Tari is pictured front and center with the caption "No, No, and No again!" prominently displayed. What follows is something of a diatribe on what working naturally means to him. "There are no prestigious ruins", "not every vintage is exceptional", and "organic farming isn't just a matter of doing nothing while the weeds grow."
Say it some more, brother!
I liked Gabriel and his wife Wenny before we even met. Then when we did finally meet, the like turned to admire, and since then the admire has turned to adore. I adore what the Tari' are doing in their little corner of the south of France. Carcassonne is only 15 minutes away, the Pyrenées and the Montagne Noir loom in the distance. Their home is equidistant from the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. In fact, their appellation, Cabardès (KAH-bahr-dez), lies on almost a continental divide, or fall line between the seas. Neat stuff, and more on that in the future.
There's a large range of wines here, yet I would call this a small winery. I was most excited by a lineup called Pure, and I could tell from Wenny that she and Gabriel favored these too. This is a winery we'll go back to many many times over the years for a range of wines from classic whites, to dry rosé, to ageworthy reds. This 100% Viognier is a remarkable deal considering the northward pricing trajectory on this variety elsewhere in the world. Wonderful perfume of wild flowers, lanolin, and exotic fruits. Plus, a nice rich mouthfeel without the oaky sweetness!