This week, we go behind the label at Château Brandeau, located to the east of Bordeaux.
The estate is run by Julien Voogt, a young, energetic, Belgian winemaker who spent his formative years in the industry working in a variety of regions across the globe. During this period as a travelling winemaker, Julien would spend a vintage working, then use his savings to travel on to the next destination. This lifestyle eventually brought him to Bordeaux, where he elected to settle down in order to further his winemaking studies. Having looked after a small biodynamic estate in St Emilion, in 2015 he was offered the chance, along with his wife Sophie, to take the reins at Château Brandeau – an estate that had been farmed organically for the previous 25 years.
Bordeaux is seen as one of the world’s most traditional regions, which makes Julien’s adoption of a minimal intervention and organic approach all the more exciting. Since 2015, Julien has developed 4 different cuvées following his minimal intervention philosophy and we are delighted to bring a trio of them to Scotland.
His ‘Banzaï’ proved particularly popular with you all over the 2020 summer lockdown months. It is a pure expression of Merlot, handpicked from a 3 hectare area of vineyards and produced using a wild yeast fermentation with no addition of sulphites. After 6 months of ageing it is bottled unfined and unfiltered, giving a lively wine that is bursting with fresh acidity.
Making a comeback to our portfolio this year is Julien’s ‘Petit Brandeau’ – another 100% Merlot. Produced from a 35 year old plot of vines, it has similar bright, fresh fruit character to the ‘Banzai’ but displays a slightly more substantial tannic structure.
And finally, there is the ‘Château Brandeau’ cuvee, a blend of Merlot (80%) and Cabernet Franc (20%) that Julien believes offers the most accurate expression of his terroir. Handpicked from a 3 hectare area of vineyards, he again employs a wild yeast fermentation and an extremely minimal addition of sulphites. The resulting wine is full-bodied and brimming with ripe black fruit, juicy natural acidity and fantastic length.