Domaine Brana - Irouleguy Rouge 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. Jean Brana’s farming philosophy could be called bio-diverse: encouraging the natural flora and fauna to co-exist with the vines. The result has been the return of insects and birds that haven’t been seen in the vineyard for years, as well as one hundred and ten plant species that co-habit with the vines. To celebrate this development, Jean redesigned all the wine labels so that each one features one of the indigenous birds found in the vineyards.
The estate is HVE (Haut Valeur Environnementale) certified: a French three-tiered system that focuses on increasing biodiversity, decreasing use and impact of pesticides and fungicides, managing fertilizer use and improving water management.
The Domaine Rouge is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Tannat grown on sand and limestone soils. All grapes are fermented with native yeasts and aged in mostly 1-year-old barrels for 12 months. The wine pours a deep ruby with purple highlights, emitting aromas of dark fruits, spice, and a slight herbal undertone. Full bodied and rich with an intense tannic structure and firm acidic backbone, this offering from Domaine Brana will pair beautifully with rich meat dishes but also with eggplant based vegetable dishes.