2014 Verget Sans Terroir Rouge
The French region of Burgundy is one of the most widely respected wine regions in the world, and has a viticultural tradition that stretches back over two thousand years. When you have this sort of pedigree, and and that much history, there’s a tendency for winemakers in these sort of places to become more than a little conservative, with a ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ sort of attitude.
It sometimes takes an outsider to step in and shake things up a little, even if that might mean getting a few funny looks in the village square on market day. Jean-Marie Guffens and Jean Ricjkaert are one such pair of outsiders - two Belgians who are determined to inject a bit of new life and a new perspective to the grand old vineyards of Burgundy. In 1991, they set up Domaine Verget, with the intention of creating a winery which uses the very latest in technology and state of the art equipment in order to achieve the very highest levels of expression from the grapes they select.
They source their fruit from the finest vineyards of the Cote d’Or and Maconnais, and also from Chablis, where their modern methods don’t exactly sit comfortably with the locals. However, their pioneering attitude, insistence on low-yielding vines and meticulous attention to detail results in a stunning portfolio of wines which are more than representative of the beautiful land they work with. They’ve only relatively recently started exploring the red wine possibilities of the region, and the past few years have seen them break new ground with red wine varietals, thanks to their careful selection of extremely high quality fruit which is processed with minimal handling. All in all, we can safely say that the rebel spirit of Burgundy tastes very good indeed.
Banjo says: I’ll never forget the time I met Jean-Marie Guffens. A man full of self confidence yes, but also a wealth of knowledge on vineyards and winemaking. Brim full of stories and anecdotes, and a maker of incredibly delicious wines.
This is an equal parts blend of Syrah and Merlot, from high-altitude vineyards in the north of Provence. It sees no oak, being simply raised in stainless steel tanks, in order to preserve freshness and vitality.
It's supple, crisply textured and forward, with fragrant aromas and flavours of red licquorice and a hint of lifted spice, carried by just the right amount of fresh, fruity acidity. Perfect as we move into the warmer months.
This sort of Shiraz / Merlot blend is a masterclass in balance and taste. The Shiraz lends its distinctive body and depth, while the Merlot softens everything out and brings forward all those deliciously rounded, plum and jam flavours. This is a wine which could handle being paired with some fairly bold, robustly-flavoured foods, but it would perhaps be better matched up with some of the more gentle tasting meats. I’d put this wine together with a lamb dish, or something made from aubergine - some smoke and spice would bring out the best in both the wine and the food.
We’ve teamed up with the talented team at Smudge Eats to match all our wines to their delicious recipes, which they’ve compiled from the country’s top and emerging chefs.
Recipe link: Crusted Lamb Cutlet
Taste matching: Rich