Domaine Brana - Irouléguy Blanc 2016
Domaine Brana is located in the tiny appellation of Irouléguy, in the extreme southwest of France in the Pyreness within the French Basque country. In 1984, Étienne Brana was one of the first to plant vines on a meaningful scale in over a century in this area. The vines are planted along very narrow terraces cut out of the steep hillsides. Today the estate is run by Étienne's children, Jean and Martine, who often work with Jean-Claude Berrouet, the former winemaker at Château Pétrus. The Brana family has always practiced non-intervening farming practices, and recently have been including biodynamic principles.
The Iroulégy blanc is a blend of 50% Petit Courbu and 50% Gros Manseng. All grapes are hand harvested via a "triage" selection. The grapes are macerated on the skins for a short period before settling the must, followed by fermentation in stainless steel. The wine displays beautiful white fruit and floral elements with a distinct stony mineral presence. The flavors are concentrated but the wine itself walks the tightrope of power and delicacy with great finesse. Pair with idiazabal cheese or fresh seafood, particularly cod.