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Freak in the Bedroom

 

I accept you with all your (vinous) faults…Brett?

Brett,

You are a pain to deal with. Dirty, earthy, funky, aromatic whites fear your existence. But, a little of you, in the right variety or wine, reminds me of the saying; ‘I want a schoolmarm in public, but a freak in the bedroom..’

Brettanomyces is a yeast that is found in wineries and breweries that gives off a distinct earthy, barnyard, cow chip aroma and flavor, and has been a hot topic for some time. It came up in a conversation I had during dinner last night at Hess i in Napa with the winemaker,Dave Guffy, and a group of industry folks. So why this debate? Simple. Winemakers, primarily in the old world, have not only accepted Brettanomyces in their wineries and wines, but have actually described the bacteria as an inherent characteristic of their region. However, anyone with a lay knowledge of winemaking knows that Brett can, and should, be removed from the winery to prevent introducing it to their ageing vino.

Personally, I can play the game with Brett in certain wines and styles. But too much of anything can be a bad thing….

But typicite? I think not.

To those out there that still play that game, you are on notice. Truth in advertising. If you have it, admit it. And, if you want to keep it, say it loud and proud. Just be prepared to explain why.

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